2002-03 Bayern Munich Domestic Home Shirt Size Small - Elber #9
Team: Bayern Munich
Era: 2002-03 (Used for the 2002-03 Bundesliga season)
Name/Number: Elber #9
The age of this shirt does reveal itself through the wear and tear of the shirt. The felt T-Mobile sponsor on the front and the Bayern Munchen font on the back of the short have come away, and there is some staining to the front of the shirt. Other than that however, the shirt is more than presentable and wearable!
Pit to Pit Measurement: 19.5 inches
Shirt Length: 28 inches
Made in Adidas’ ‘ClimaLite’ mould that was introduced in the early 2000’s; this shirt does actually provide excellent dimensions for a size small football shirt, however, just be mindful that the sleeves are quite roomy.
Adidas introduced new away and cup shirts for Bayern Munich ahead of the 2002-03 season, however, the home shirt is a mirror of the 2001-02 ensemble; albeit with T-Mobile replacing Opel as the main shirt sponsor. The name and numbering is also made from felt as was the sponsor. Almost as if Adidas amalgamated the 1999-01 domestic home strip and the 1998-01 European kit together; the 2001-03 ensemble was the result! The shades of maroon and red made the main body, while the navy and grey shades came together for the sleeves! Even the proportion in which the sleeves are coloured is a perfect medium between the two outfits! The 2002-03 iteration would be the last Bayern outfit to be donned by club legends: Giovane Elber, Niko Kovac and Michael Tarnat.
The 2001-02 season was a disappointment on all fronts, bar their Intercontinental Cup triumph as both the Bundesliga and Champions League titles were relinquished somewhat tepidly. While the board continued to entrust Ottmar Hitzfeld with the management of the first team, there were major outfield personal changes with mainstays: Carsten Jancker, Stefan Effenberg, Pablo Thiam, Ciriaco Sforza and Paulo Sergio all making way. Their replacements were cut from the finest cloth as Ze Roberto, Sebastian Diesler and German football’s hottest commodity: Michael Ballack were all signed in the summer.
In spite of these incredible aquistions, Diesler’s former club: Hertha Berlin would upset Bayern on penalties in the preliminary round of the DFB-Ligapokal on July 25th 2002. The domestic campaign began on August 10th with a goalless draw away against Borussia Monchengladbach. ‘Die Rotten’ were soon up and running however when they put 6 past Arminia Bielefeld in their next game, as Elber netted 4 times and Michael Ballack opened his account for his new club.
Bayern would net 3 in each of their next 3 games in both the league and DFB-Pokal, and then a further 5 goals would be scored across the respective wins over Nurnberg and Energie Cottbus as Bayern took a 4 point lead at the top of the table into their huge game against last season’s runners-up: Bayer Leverkusen. Leverkusen would end Bayern’s run of 19 league games unbeaten that stretched back to February as they won 2-1 at the BayArena on September 28th.
It seemed almost inconsequential however, as Bayern rebounded with back-to-back wins to move 5 points clear of 2nd place Borussia Dortmund, although just one point gained in their next two outings allowed the champions to reduce the arrears to just 2 points ahead of ‘Der Klassiker’ on November 9th. In front of a 60,000 sell out at the Olympiastadion, Bayern would come from a goal down to defeat Dortmund 2-1, with Roque Santa Cruz and Claudio Pizarro scoring the goals.
With their ill-fated European campaign now in the rear-view, Bayern could concentrate solely on the domestic double, and November would yield a place in the Round of 16 of the DFB-Pokal and maximum points in the league following further wins over: Wolfsburg, Kaiserslautern and Hertha. Werder Bremen who had taken seizure of 2nd place were still some 6 points off away from Bayern as we entered the final month of 2002.
Their Last 16 clash with rivals Schalke on December 4th would be decided on penalties as Bayern prevailed 5-4, that was then followed up by a 3-0 win over a Stuttgart side who had been impressing thus far in the league. Their latest run of 5 league wins on the bounce would be halted at home to Schalke on December 14th when the sides battled to yet another goalless stalemate; at the halfway point of the season however, Bayern lead by 6 points and were looking irresistible in the league.
Bayern returned to BuLi action on January 26th and saw off Monchengladbach 3-0 before being held to a goalless draw by Arminia Bielefeld on February 1st. In their German Cup quarter final clash with FC Koln, Bayern would beat their opponents by an embarrassing 8-0 score-line to set up a March 5th semi-final against Leverkusen. Bayern seemed to be on their way to another 3 points and clean sheet as they led against HSV on February 9th, however, Naohiro Takahara’s 92nd minute equaliser ended Bayern’s legendary run of 7 league games without conceding, which when we run the numbers farther, was actually 9 including cup games, totalling to approximately 1,100 minutes since they last conceded a goal! That last goal by the way, was Jan Koller’s 7th minute goal for Dortmund on November 9th!
In the Munich Derby 6 days later, Bayern would pummel 1860 by 5-0 as Mehmet Scholl netted a hat-trick, before Nurnberg were seen off 2-0 to conclude a fruitful February. It was seemingly now a matter of when, rather than if Bayern were to be re-crowned as champions as they held a 10 point lead with 12 games to spare.
The showdown with Bayer Leverkusen to determine who play in the DFB-Pokal Final ended with a resounding 3-1 win in favour of Bayern; their opponents would be Kaiserslautern in the May 31st finale in Berlin. 3 days later, they’d beat Bayer 3-0 in the league to move 13 points clear! Follow up wins over Bochum and Rostock would deliver maximum points as they ended March needing just 3 more wins to be crowned as champions.
Interestingly, Bayern would embark on their worst run of form of the season in April as Hannover claimed a point in a 2-2 draw, before both Werder and Dortmund were able to claim respective 1-0 wins at the expense of the champions elect. In spite of taking just 1 point from an available, Bayern remained 11 points clear of Stuttgart!
Any notion of a title collapse would be dumbfounded as Bayern defeated Wolfsburg 2-0 to end a dastardly month of April. The win over Wolfsburg would see Bayern crowned as the 2002-03 Bundesliga champions as neither Stuttgart or Dortmund could win in their respective outings that weekend.
On May 3rd, Bayern would defeat their opponents in the DFB-Pokal Final: Kaiserslautern 1-0, and then see off Hertha in an exciting 6-3 win, before endangering Stuttgart’s chances of finishing 2nd with a 2-1 win in the penultimate game of the season. A final day of the season defeat to Schalke was quickly forgotten as Bayern made easy work of Kaiserslautern; winning 3-1 in the German Cup Final to collect a fine domestic double!
The notable players that season were:
Piotr Trochowski, Roque Santa Cruz, Alexander Zickler, Claudio Pizarro, Giovane Elber, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sebastian Deisler, Owen Hargreaves, Hasan Salihamidzic, Michael Tarnat, Thorsten Fink, Jens Jeremies, Michael Ballack, Ze Roberto, Niko Kovac, Mehmet Scholl, Pablo Thiam, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Linke, Robert Kovac, Samuel Kuffour, Bixente Lizarazu, Willy Sagnol, Oliver Khan
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