Bayern Munich Seeking First European Cup Repeat Since 1990

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffFebruary 24, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Claudio Pizarro of Bayern Muenchen lifts the trophy in celebration alongside team mates after victory in the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Bayern Munich has reached the UEFA Champions League final in three of the past four seasons, finally bringing Europe's most coveted trophy home with a dramatic victory over Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium last year. That triumph has set the stage for Bayern to become the competition's first repeat champion since AC Milan claimed the title in both 1989 and 1990.

In addition to AC Milan, the list of repeat European champions is comprised of Real Madrid (1956-60), Benfica (1961-62), Inter Milan (1964-65), Ajax (1971-73), Bayern Munich (1974-76), Liverpool (1977-78), and Nottingham Forest (1979-80). The once-common feat would mean much more in the modern game, as the ongoing 23-year repeat drought is easily the longest in European Cup/Champions League history, which dates back to 1956.

Last season's crowning saw manager Jupp Heynckes' Bayern side advance by winning Group F and then eliminating Arsenal, Juventus and, most impressively, Barcelona in the knockout rounds leading up to the London final.

This season, Bayern is coached by former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, who has won the European Cup three times in his career, once as a player (1992) and twice as a manager (2009, 2011), with all three triumphs coming under the Barcelona flag.

Following a first-place finish in Group D this time around, the Bavarian outfit once again drew Arsenal as its first-round opponent for the knockout stages. Bayern prevailed 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium last Wednesday, putting them in a favorable position to move on after the return leg is played on March 11.

Should they progress, Guardiola's squad will be one step closer to a season-ending trip to Lisbon, Portugal, where this year's Champions League final will be held.