Bayern Munich players' epic body transformations before 2020 Champions League win

Bayern Munich are serious Champions League contenders.

Amidst all the justified hype around Liverpool and Manchester City at the moment, it’s easy to forget that there’s a major threat to the Premier League‘s recent domination in Europe’s top competition.

With two of the last three Champions League finals having been all-English affairs, there’s good reason to think that the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp could be scrapping over ‘Big Ears’ once again.

Bayern: Serious Champions League contenders

And while that could still very well prove to be the case, anyone looking to conquer the continent this season will either need to dispatch Bayern along the way or hope that one of their rivals does the job for them.

Besides, lest we forget that it’s barely been 18 months since the Bavarians produced one of the most emphatic Champions League campaigns in living memory, dominating to lift the 2020 title in Lisbon.

The likes of Hansi Flick and Thiago Alcantara might have waved goodbye to the club ever since, but the spine of the Bayern team that swept Barcelona, Chelsea and more aside is still well and truly in tact.

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A statement of intent vs Red Bull Salzburg

The passing of two years has done absolutely nothing to slow the rate at which Thomas Muller is providing assists by the dozen and Robert Lewandowski seems to permanently be in Ballon d’Or-contending form.

And all of that was painfully apparent to Bayern’s biggest rivals earlier on Tuesday night as the German champions absolutely demolished Red Bull Salzburg 7-1 in the second leg of their round of 16 clash.

It might ‘only’ have been against Austria’s finest, but such an outrageous scoreline – featuring a Lewandowski hat-trick, naturally – serves as a warning shot to anyone looking to win the Champions League nevertheless.

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Bulking up at Bayern

And frankly, any club wanting to outmuscle Bayern will need strength in more ways than one…

We are, of course, referencing the very clear conditioning programme that’s unfolding at the Allianz Arena with several of their key players having piled on the muscle in recent years.

We’re not talking about photogenic angles or flexing in the mirror either because the evidence for players such as Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka having bulked up in southern Germany is simply remarkable.

Soccer Football – Champions League – Final – Bayern Munich v Paris St Germain – Estadio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal – August 23, 2020 Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski celebrates with the trophy after winning the Champions League, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Matthew Childs/Pool

Champions League-winning body transformations

Besides, you only have to look at the journey that Philippe Coutinho underwent during his loan spell at the European giants; leaving Barcelona with a skinny frame and returning with a muscular physique.

As such, with Bayern once again powering towards Champions League glory, we couldn’t resist looking back on the extraordinary body transformations that their squad experienced on the way to conquering Europe.

No doubt each player achieved their bulking up over varying lengths of time and with methods entirely suited to them, but the end result is ultimately the same and you can check it out down below:

No wonder there were so many ‘They 8-2 much’ jokes at the time…

Built for success

Look, there’s no such thing as a perfect body in either sport or life and you certainly don’t need to look like a Love Island contestant to thrive in the beautiful game.

Nevertheless, the evidence in favour of Bayern putting a very clear focus on the muscularity of their players couldn’t be any clearer and the results on the pitch would suggest that it’s not doing any harm.

Elimination at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain might have been a misstep last season, but Julian Nagelsmann’s men are looking just as strong on the pitch as they clearly do in the gym.

Soccer Football – Champions League – Final – Bayern Munich v Paris St Germain – Estadio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal – August 23, 2020 Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer and teammates celebrate winning the Champions League with the trophy, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Manu Fernandez/Pool via REUTERS

It’s going to take some serious strength for anyone to push Bayern out of the way this season.

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