Domestic bliss for Real and Bayern, but what about Europe?
Two giants of European football, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich wrapped up their respective league titles with plenty of room to spare this weekend.
Things were also getting soggy in Wolfsburg, after Bayern secured their 21st German league title, completed a domestic double for the third time in four seasons and celebrated by soaking each other with good Bavarian Weissbier (see photo above).
Neither side was seriously challenged on their way to their triumphs and they are both clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the domestic opposition.
But the celebrations will be that little bit more muted because neither side made their mark in Europe this season. Once again Real limped out of the Champions League in the first knockout round, while Bayern, who had to content themselves with participation in the UEFA Cup, were almost knocked out in the quarter-finals by humble Getafe and were then humiliated by Zenit St Petersburg.
What will it take for these two sides to become forces in Europe once again?
Real have not exactly been shy about buying in big names of late, while Bayern have a galactico coach coming in the shape of Juergen Klinsmann, and he will presumably want to strengthen the squad.
Would they better off sticking with what they’ve got, bringing on some youngsters and hoping to gradually build on their domestic triumphs? Or do you now need truly world class players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Kaka to win the Champions League?
PHOTO: Combination of pictures showing Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld getting showered with beer by Luca Toni as they celebrate winning the German title in Wolfsburg, May 4, 2008. REUTERS/Christian Charisius