Hansi Flick can still see room for improvement from his Bayern Munich side despite brushing aside Schalke 4-0 to move seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

The reigning champions capitalised on RB Leipzig's shock defeat at Mainz by seeing off Schalke, the division's bottom side, at the Veltins-Arena on Sunday.

Thomas Muller scored either side of Robert Lewandowski's record-breaking goal - netting in an eighth successive away league match - before David Alaba got in on the act in the final minute.

Bayern did not have things all their own way in the first half, though, with Manuel Neuer reacting well to keep out Mark Uth's header from the best of Schalke's opportunities.

Flick is pleased his side have rediscovered their form with three wins in a row since suffering back-to-back losses earlier this month, but he acknowledged there is still more to come.

"I'm not entirely happy with what we showed," he told Sky Sport. "We scored four goals, but we should have done better, especially with the way we positioned ourselves.

"However, I am very satisfied with the nine points with have obtained from the last three games. After defeats to Holstein Kiel [in the DFB-Pokal] and Monchengladbach, it was important to find stability.

"We now have a certain cushion, but it is still important that we approach every game the way we have approached the last few games, that we perform 100 per cent. 

"We're going to take two days off now. This is important to clear your head from time to time. From Wednesday, we will then prepare intensively for Hoffenheim."

Bayern have now kept clean sheets in successive league games for the first time this term, with Neuer making three saves in total - all in the first half.

Neuer's 197th shutout is a new Bundesliga record, surpassing Bayern great Oliver Kahn, but it was bittersweet coming against his beleaguered boyhood club.

Schalke are bottom of the division with one win from 18 games but Neuer is hopeful they can avoid the drop.

"Obviously, it's difficult for them against teams like us," he said. "I think that they have to beat two or three clubs that are in the lower half of the table, one after the other.

"I wish the Schalke players luck that they can stay in the league and that they can still turn the tide. Of course, I'll keep my fingers crossed for that."

Of his own team's display, which saw Bayern register a season-high 31 shots, Neuer said: "We improved and still had one or two more scoring chances. 

"We certainly would have signed for a 4-0 win beforehand."

Meanwhile, Muller's double took him to nine goals in 18 Bundesliga games this season, already beating his tally from the entirety of 2019-20.

The forward, who scored a clinical header in each half, echoed the thoughts of Flick in saying his side were slightly flattered by the margin of the scoreline.

"We neglected some aspects of our game," Muller said. "We besieged the opposing goal in the first half, played a few chances well, but the last action was missing.

"Overall, you noticed that when we increased the pace and played our game, we were always able to get ourselves into good final positions. 

"We have won all three games this week and made a giant leap forward in the table. That is what counts."

Bayern Munich fell victim to a "brutally effective" Borussia Monchengladbach in their humbling 3-2 defeat on Friday, according to Hansi Flick.

Robert Lewandowski's penalty – his 20th Bundesliga goal of the season – and a fine strike from Leon Goretzka put Bayern in control of the Bundesliga clash at Borussia-Park inside 26 minutes.

However, a wayward pass from Benjamin Pavard led to a quick break that finished with Jonas Hofmann scoring, and the Gladbach midfielder was played onside by Niklas Sule as he doubled his tally before half-time after Joshua Kimmich was caught in possession by Lars Stindl.

Sule then gave the ball to Hofmann inside his own half four minutes after the restart and Florian Neuhaus subsequently atoned for conceding the first-half spot-kick with a bizarre handball by netting the winner.

Gladbach consequently became the first team since Cologne in February 2011 to beat Bayern in a Bundesliga game after falling 2-0 down.

"We had hoped for a different ending to this game and expected it, but in the end we were punished. We lost the ball unnecessarily three times and the opposition was brutally effective in finishing those chances," Flick told a post-match news conference.

"When you ask me how to prevent that, on the one hand you have to keep the mistakes to a minimum, or avoid them, and on the other hand you have to cover your deep positions twice.

"We suffered similar situations on their first two goals. Hofmann went deep from midfield and we moved forward too quickly and opened the centre without covering the deep position, and with the second we should have kept going and covering the positions.

"That shouldn't happen and it's not a nice situation to be in, but a defeat, even if it's Bayern Munich, is part of the game. In the second half the team tried everything to achieve a positive result but unfortunately it didn't work."

Manuel Neuer has now conceded in 10 straight Bundesliga games for the first time in his career, with Bayern letting in 16 goals since their last clean sheet against Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24.

Bayern have conceded 24 goals through 15 matches in the top flight this season, the most they have shipped at this point of a Bundesliga campaign since 1981-82.

Flick added: "I've said it a few times, we are making too many mistakes. You can't deny that the team tried to win.

"We had to fight today, we knew it would be a difficult game. Don't forget [Gladbach] is a team that played in the Champions League against top opposition and prevailed, so we needed this compact team performance and we showed – with the exception of these three situations.

"But of course, we're not satisfied with the result. We all know we need to show even more concentration in our defensive work in the crucial moments. We have to cover the deep positions and that's the challenge we have, and we have to improve in the coming weeks."

Bayern are back in action against 2. Bundesliga side Holstein Kiel in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday.

Jonas Hofmann played a pivotal role as Borussia Monchengladbach incredibly came from two goals down to defeat Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich 3-2 on Friday.

Robert Lewandowski scored his 20th top-flight goal of the season from the penalty spot after an inexplicable handball from Florian Neuhaus, and Leon Goretzka had Bayern cruising at Borussia-Park in the 26th minute.

However, Hofmann struck twice in the space of 10 minutes to send the teams into half-time level and Neuhaus atoned for his earlier error with what proved to be the winner in the 49th minute.

Gladbach consequently became the first team since Cologne in February 2011 to defeat Bayern in the Bundesliga after falling 2-0 down.

Lewandowski put Bayern in front from the penalty spot following a bizarre handball by Neuhaus, though referee Harm Osmers only pointed to the spot after a VAR check.

Bayern doubled their advantage six minutes later, Goretzka intercepting Matthias Ginter's pass and drilling a venomous effort past Yann Sommer after a one-two with Leroy Sane.

Gladbach reduced the deficit when Rami Bensebaini regained the ball high up the pitch and a quick passing move ended with Hofmann sliding Lars Stindl's throughball past Manuel Neuer.

The hosts drew level in first-half stoppage time when Stindl dispossessed Joshua Kimmich and fed Hofmann for another cool finish - the VAR confirming he was onside when the pass was played.

Gladbach completed the turnaround four minutes after the restart, Hofmann intercepting Niklas Sule's pass and teeing up Neuhaus to curl a wonderful effort into the top-right corner.

Marco Rose's men sat deep and Ginter cleared a header from Sule off the line in the 91st minute, opening the door for RB Leipzig to replace Bayern at the Bundesliga summit if they can beat Borussia Dortmund in a mouthwatering clash on Saturday.

What does it mean? Worries at the back for Flick

Bayern's defensive struggles continued against Gladbach, with Neuer now on a 10-game run without a clean sheet in the Bundesliga for the first time in his career.

He was not helped by Benjamin Pavard giving away possession prior to Hofmann's first, while Sule played a role in allowing the other two Gladbach goals.

Securing the future of David Alaba, who will be out of contract at the end of the season, never seemed quite so important.

Having it Lars

Most teams would think the game is beyond them when falling 2-0 down to Bayern, but Gladbach captain Stindl led by example to turn the game around. He set up both of Hofmann's goals with a pair of quality passes and contested 11 duels before being substituted in the 82nd minute.

Sluggish Sule

Sule replaced Jerome Boateng in the centre of defence but endured a disappointing outing. He played Hofmann onside for the equaliser just before half-time and within minutes of the restart his stray pass resulted in Neuhaus putting Gladbach in front.

What's next?

Bayern are in DFB-Pokal action against 2. Bundesliga side Holstein Kiel on Wednesday, while Gladbach have a week to prepare for a Bundesliga clash with Stuttgart.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is enduring the worst run of his Bundesliga career.

With Jonas Hofmann's goal in the 35th minute of Bayern's meeting with Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday, Neuer failed to keep a clean sheet for the 10th straight top-flight game.

It is the first time the 34-year-old keeper has conceded in 10 successive Bundesliga matches during his 15 seasons in the competition.

Neuer's previous worst streak was a run of nine games between September and December in 2018.

The last time Bayern kept a clean sheet in the Bundesliga was in their 5-0 triumph over Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24.

Hansi Flick admitted he was "a little disappointed" to miss out on The Best FIFA Men's Coach award after Bayern Munich's stunning run of trophy success.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp edged out Flick to take the award on Thursday, after leading the Reds to a first English league title in 30 years.

Flick, who took over in mid-season last term when Niko Kovac left a flagging Bayern, guided the German giants to a treble consisting of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League titles.

Bayern's achievements were reflected in Bayern's Robert Lewandowski winning the top player award and Manuel Neuer being named best goalkeeper in the world.

Flick would have been proud to join them as a winner but said: "We always take this like sportsmen. 'Kloppo' for sure deserved this title as well with his staff. The same as my staff would have deserved it."

Klopp admitted he had been surprised to pip his fellow German to the award, albeit grateful to secure another award, while Lewandowski said Bayern's players regarded Flick as the pick of the nominees.

Flick said: "Life goes on. Of course, we were a little disappointed last night, which is normal.

"If you get among the top three, you also want to win. We live in a society of performance, so we also would have liked to win.

"But everything goes on, we have new goals to attain. Now, this is closed. The team has attained exceptional results. With Manu [Neuer] and Robert, we have two of the best players.

"Robert as best footballer and Manu as best goalkeeper, and Joshua Kimmich, Alphonso Davies in the world XI ... Thiago [Alcantara] as well, although he is with Liverpool now unfortunately.

"So we can say that this has been an exceptional season for us." 

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski were named in the attack for the 2020 FIFA FIFPro Men's World11.

The trio were all finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award and so were unsurprisingly included in the FIFPro Men's World11.

The chief shock elsewhere in the team saw Alisson preferred in goal to Manuel Neuer.

Neuer, who captained Bayern Munich to the treble, had earlier been named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper, beating Alisson and Jan Oblak to the award.

The Germany skipper had said: "It's one of the best years of my career, of course. We were so confident with our team and it's amazing what we have done in this year, 2020, especially in the summer when we played together in Lisbon [in the Champions League]."

In a team voted for by the players, Alisson was joined by Liverpool team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara.

Thiago spent the majority of the year with Bayern, who were represented by Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich as well as Lewandowski.

Sergio Ramos and Kevin De Bruyne completed the line-up.


FIFA FIFPro Men's World11: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Kevin De Bruyne, Thiago Alcantara; Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski were named in the attack for the 2020 FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI.

The trio were all finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award and so were unsurprisingly included in the World XI.

The chief shock elsewhere in the team saw Alisson preferred in goal to Manuel Neuer.

Neuer, who captained Bayern Munich to the treble, had earlier been named The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper, beating Alisson and Jan Oblak to the award.

The Germany skipper had said: "It's one of the best years of my career, of course. We were so confident with our team and it's amazing what we have done in this year, 2020, especially in the summer when we played together in Lisbon [in the Champions League]."

In a team voted for by the players, Alisson was joined by Liverpool team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara.

Thiago spent the majority of the year with Bayern, who were represented by Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich as well as Lewandowski.

Sergio Ramos and Kevin De Bruyne completed the line-up.


FIFA FIFPro Men's World XI: Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Kevin De Bruyne, Thiago Alcantara; Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Robert Lewandowski "truly deserves" to be recognised as the world's best player according to Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick.

Lewandowski has been nominated for The Best FIFA Men's Player award, which will be awarded in Zurich on Thursday, alongside Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 32-year-old Lewandowski scored twice to earn Bayern a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Wolfsburg on Wednesday to keep the German champions one point behind Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen after 12 rounds. 

Lewandowski also celebrated his 250th Bundesliga goal – from just 332 games – the Poland international becoming only the third player in league history to reach the milestone after Gerd Muller (365) and Klaus Fischer (268), though he is the first non-German to achieve the feat.

After 11 league games this season, Lewandowski has 15 goals, following a campaign where the star striker fired Bayern to Champions League glory, in addition to a domestic treble of the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup.

Bayern team-mate Manuel Neuer – who celebrated his 200th league win for the club from 261 appearances, beating Thomas Muller's record – has been nominated for The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper award alongside Liverpool's Alisson and Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid, and Flick is adamant that both of his players have earned the right to claim the prizes.

"Lewy is on one side very important on the pitch, but also he is in the inner circle of the squad," Flick said post-match.

"[He] is of course a very important player who's point of view truly counts. 

"Therefore, we are all looking ahead. So that Manuel as well as Lewy will win their awards. Both players truly deserve it."

Flick also joined the company of Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in being nominated for The Best FIFA Men's Coach award.

The 55-year-old admitted that his players had to dig deep to recover from a fifth-minute set-back against Wolfsburg, as Maximilian Philipp volleyed the visitors ahead against the run of play at the Allianz Arena.

Lewandowski headed in Kingsley Coman's delivery on the stroke of half-time to level the scores, before collecting Jerome Boateng's pass to lash in his second and complete the turnaround five minutes after the restart.

Bayern – who have won 12 points from losing positions this season, the most in the Bundesliga this term – travel to Leverkusen on Saturday in a battle to clinch top spot heading into the mid-season winter break and Flick praised his team's fighting spirit ahead of such a crunch clash.

"We won. We won and that is the most important part," Flick added. "We fought ourselves back after conceding a goal. 

"We fought back heavily and set the equaliser before the half-time which was very important and gave a signal to the team.

"Then we scored at the start of the second half the second goal, where we were playing very well. We tried to stand up against the loss. You can notice, that we really wanted this win against Wolfsburg.

"I told the team, that sometimes you have to fight back properly in order to get back into a winning streak. Coming back to Leverkusen, we want to end this very successful year on a high note. If possible, with three points."

Bayern Munich dominate the nominations for the 2020 FIFA FIFPRO Men's World 11, with the Champions League winners having nine candidates out of 55.

Hansi Flick's team won a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble in 2019-20, seeing off Paris Saint-Germain in the final of the European football's premier competition in August.

Robert Lewandowski and Joshua Kimmich were the only Bayern players to make the long-list last year, and those two again feature this time around.

Lewandowski scored a remarkable 55 goals across all competitions for Bayern last term, and has hit the ground running this season, netting 15 times to take his tally for the year so far to 70.

Manuel Neuer enjoyed something of a resurgence last term and heads up a list of 10 goalkeepers.

David Alaba was last on the list in 2017 but returns after starring at centre-back alongside Jerome Boateng, who also makes his first appearance in three years.

Thomas Muller is back after a four-year absence, while Alphonso Davies, Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka are all included for the first time.

Philippe Coutinho was something of a bit-part player though did score twice and provide an assist in a thumping 8-2 win over Barcelona – where he has now returned after a loan spell in Munich – in the Champions League semi-finals, while Thiago Alcantara, now of Liverpool, also features.

The list, which is based on players who received the most votes from other professionals, also includes 11 new faces.

It is no shock to see Borussia Dortmund's scoring sensation Erling Haaland make the cut, while Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes is also involved.

Dele Alli, meanwhile, is something of a surprise inclusion.

The Tottenham midfielder has fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho, making only two Premier League appearances, with his only top-flight start coming in the opening day defeat to Everton – in total, Alli has played just 66 league minutes this term.

Premier League champions Liverpool have eight players on the list, including new signing Thiago.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are included among 15 forwards, while Dani Alves is the only player on the list not to play in Europe's top five leagues.

The 2020 FIFA FIFPRO Men's World 11 will be made up of the goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders and three attackers who receive the most votes, with the final spot going to the highest-ranking outfielder outside of the top nine.

Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer will miss Bayern Munich's Champions League visit to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, head coach Hansi Flick confirmed. 

Poland international Lewandowski, who has scored 15 goals across all competitions this season, has sustained an unspecified injury, while it appears 34-year-old Neuer has been rested with Bayern's progression to the last 16 as group winners already secured. 

Flick also confirmed the injured Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso will remain in Germany alongside long-term absentees Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich. 

Holders Bayern sealed their place in the knockout stages with a 3-1 win over Salzburg last week, securing a fourth victory from four Group A games. 

Atletico, however, have a fight on their hands to join the Bundesliga side, with Diego Simeone's men picking up just five points from the same number of games to sit two ahead of third-place Lokomotiv Moscow.

They boast a strong record at home, though, with a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in September 2017 their only reverse in their last 24 matches in the Spanish capital.

Flick knows his side have their work cut out if they are to equal their longest run of consecutive away wins in the competition of seven. 

"It will be a challenge for all of us," he said. "The team is second in LaLiga and they have the best defence and the second best offence. 

"The coach has been working for this team for years and is always taking it to a new level. It is a pleasure for us to play against Atletico in Madrid.

"The team that copes best with the conditions will be successful. We take it seriously when a player is not 100 per cent fit. The squad for Madrid is selected so that every player is 100 per cent fit.

"There will be important games in the next two and a half weeks so we have to stay on the ball."

With Neuer not travelling, Flick reavealed 24-year-old Alexander Nubel will start in goal. 

Nubel joined the club on a free transfer from Schalke ahead of the 2020-21 season and has featured in just one game so far this term, keeping a clean sheet in Bayern's 3-0 DFB-pokal win over Duren Merzenich. 

The highly rated Nubel, who kept five clean sheets in the Bundesliga last season for Schalke, is tipped to eventually take over from Neuer and could be set for a busy game given Bayern have faced 10 or more shots on target in each of their last two Champions League games.

Flick, though, expects him to show his potential. 

"It will be that Alexander plays," he said. "He shows his quality in training and now he can show his quality in the Champions League."

Hansi Flick has described Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as an "insane professional" after his superb display in Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League win over Salzburg. 

Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane netted for Bayern, who had Marc Roca sent off midway through the second half, while Mergim Berisha pulled one back for the visitors with 17 minutes of normal time remaining.

The result helped Bayern to a fourth win out of four in Group A and sealed their progression to the last 16 as group winners with two games remaining. 

It could have been a different outcome had it not been for the heroics of Neuer, though – the Germany international making 10 saves to deny the Austrians, with his finest moment coming in the form of a superb double stop to deny Berisha and Enock Mwepu.

It was the latest in a string of impressive displays from Neuer, with head coach Flick quick to hail the 34-year-old's dedication to his craft. 

"Manu has been playing sensationally for over a year," he told Sky Sport. "With him, the goal for the striker is getting smaller and smaller. 

"He is in the form of his life. He is an insane professional and very focused on his job."

Bayern never hit the heights of their 6-2 drubbing of Salzburg in the reverse fixture three weeks ago, allowing their opponents 19 attempts on goal in a display characterised by sloppy defending. 

Flick was not impressed by his side's inability to keep hold of the ball but he refused to be too hard on his players, who he says improved after the interval. 

"We made our way a little difficult because we lost a lot of balls," he added. "The ball losses must not happen like this. That is insecurity and recklessness. Of course, we have personnel problems at the moment.

"It got better in the second half. I'm satisfied with the efficiency and, of course, we have a world-class goalkeeper at the back."

Neuer agreed with Flick's assessment that Bayern lost possession too easily, but he believes it is important to remember they achieved their objective of qualifying for the last 16.

"We have conceded too many goals recently," he said. "It was, of course, also down to the opponents. We played against a strong team. We lost the ball too easily and that hurt us. 

"For me, it is important that we won today and are group winners. You do what you can."

Bayern Munich and Germany captain Manuel Neuer hopes there will never be another season like this one as the coronavirus pandemic puts a strain on players.

Neuer, who is in the Germany squad for matches against Czech Republic, Ukraine and Spain, has already racked up 12 appearances for Bayern and two for the national team in 2020-21 as part of a packed fixture list.

Training with his team-mates is now very different to before and the 34-year-old, while reluctant to complain, cannot wait for normality to return.

"There has never been a season like this and hopefully there never will be again," he said to Sport Buzzer.

"Everyone involved knows that there is a lot at the moment. That is why communication with one another is all the more important - with the coaches, the doctors and physios and the players.

"Certain training types are currently no longer possible. We do recovery after the game, then a bit of tactics work, some final training, and then the next game is on. 

"Small tournaments, forms of play and one-to-one training no longer takes place. 

"We as players shouldn't complain, even if we have reached the limit. 

"We are allowed to play - unlike many others - and are very happy about it; you just have to look at the amateur footballers or take a look at other sports."

Neuer added he has enjoyed alternative individual training methods like a fitness mirror he uses at home.

The goalkeeper was saddened to see Joshua Kimmich suffer a knee injury in Bayern's 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund, though relieved the problem will only keep his club and international team-mate out until January after successful surgery.

Asked if the strain of the fixture list may have contributed to Kimmich going down, Neuer added: "Such injuries can always happen. 

"It also existed before corona and will also exist when fewer games are on the schedule. 

"The injury for Jo hurts us, of course - at Bayern and Germany - but we know him and know how motivated, conscientious and ambitious he is. 

"So I'm absolutely certain that he will come back in his old strength in January. That's the plan."

Bayern Munich added a major double to their famous treble as striker Robert Lewandowski and head coach Hansi Flick were honoured with UEFA's top individual awards on Thursday. 

Lewandowski scored 55 goals last season, including 15 in the Champions League, and he collected the UEFA Men's Player of the Year prize, while Flick was presented with the Men's Coach of the Year honour. 

Last season saw Bayern sweep the board with their Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League triumphs to seal a stunning treble. 

Former Germany assistant boss Flick took charge at Bayern in November after the team experienced a slow start to the season under predecessor Niko Kovac, and their results began to dramatically improve. 

The German giants have already scooped UEFA Super Cup and DFL-Supercup victories in the early weeks of the new season, meaning they hold five significant trophies. 

Lewandowski, who fended off competition from fellow nominees Manuel Neuer and Kevin De Bruyne, said of his award: "I have to say it's an amazing feeling. 

"If you work so hard and you get this trophy it's something special."

The 32-year-old Poland international added: "I have to say thank you to my team-mates, my coaches and all the staff because they work very hard to prepare me, and also to my family because they support me a lot and that, for me, is very important. 

"When I was young, I always dreamed of playing in the big stadiums, at the big clubs in the world, and now I'm on this stage I have to say the dream has come true. I'm very proud, I'm very grateful and I'm very happy." 

The individual accolades are a welcome complement to the team successes, and they are flooding in at Bayern. 

Lewandowski won Germany's Footballer of the Year award in August after his remarkable campaign, with Flick named as the top coach in the country. 

Now they have fresh recognition from European football's governing body, the organisers of the Champions League, and it was a Bayern love-in at the UEFA ceremony. 

Neuer received the Goalkeeper of the Year trophy, the versatile Joshua Kimmich picked up the Defender of the Year honour and Lewandowski went home with the Striker of the Year prize alongside his main award. 

It was not quite a clean sweep by the Bavarians, however, with Manchester City's De Bruyne taking the Midfielder of the Year accolade. 

In the awards recognising achievement in the women's game, Lyon's Champions League-winning coach Jean-Luc Vasseur and former Wolfsburg forward Pernille Harder, who recently joined Chelsea, claimed the top honours. 

Hansi Flick admitted Bayern Munich made life difficult for themselves in the DFL-Supercup win over Borussia Dortmund that completed a quintuple of trophy triumphs.

It took a late Joshua Kimmich goal to give Bayern a 3-2 victory at Allianz Arena as last season's Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal winners landed more silverware.

Bayern had claimed a double already this term after clinching the UEFA Super Cup, so Bayern now can point to owning five current titles.

But what at one stage looked like being a routine win turned into a testing contest for Germany's all-conquering side on Wednesday.

Dortmund were in trouble when Bayern surged 2-0 up in 32 minutes through goals from Corentin Tolisso and Thomas Muller, but Julian Brandt and Erling Haaland struck to bring the teams level heading into the final half-hour.

Kimmich pinched an 82nd-minute winner after robbing Thomas Delaney of possession and exchanging passes with Robert Lewandowski, finding the net at the second attempt with a desperate flick at the ball after his initial shot was blocked.

"We wanted to win the game, but it was really not so easy. We deserved to lead 2-0 and then made life difficult for ourselves," head coach Flick said.

"However, what counts for me is that we won the game and everything else is something that we'll want to do better on Sunday.

"Joshua Kimmich has a very special mentality, enormous qualities. That's why he's on a really good path to being one of those players who shape this club."

Bayern's Sunday assignment in the Bundesliga is a home game against Hertha Berlin.

Kimmich was relieved to get his hands on another trophy, after Dortmund threatened to take the win.

It took a fine save from Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to deny Haaland a goal that would have put Lucien Favre's Dortmund side 3-2 ahead.

"In the end we have the trophy. That feels good," Kimmich said, quoted on Bayern's website. "We fought for the cup, even if it wasn't our best game."

Like his boss and the match-winner, Neuer recognised Bayern were not at their most impressive.

Neuer said: "You know that you're playing against a strong team, so something can always happen and we saw that today. It was our fault that we let Dortmund back into the game."

"You can't always assume you're going to score three goals, but at the end Joshua Kimmich did well," captain Neuer added.

There was regret in the Dortmund camp over the chance of a trophy gone begging.

Goalscorer Brandt said: "I think we let in two annoying goals in the first half. Unfortunately, we didn't do well there. We then got the next goal and we then had chances that we couldn't take."

Xabi Alonso has the qualities required to succeed as a head coach in the modern game and could be a future possibility for Bayern Munich, says CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Spain World Cup winner Alonso spent three seasons at Allianz Arena between 2014 and 2017 before the cultured midfielder called time on his distinguished playing career.

Alonso won three Bundesliga titles, a DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Supercup during his time at Bayern and is now in charge of the B team at Real Sociedad, the club with whom he rose through the youth ranks and started in the professional game.

Rummenigge remains in contact with Alonso and foresees a time when the Spaniard is back at Bayern, this time in the dugout.

"He will be a coach who may be of interest to FC Bayern at some point in the future. I can imagine that," Rummenigge told the BILD podcast 'Phrasenmaher'.

"We are still friends today, he reports regularly.

"Xabi Alonso has this empathy that you need. Especially with today's generation of players to spin such a common thread with them."

Rummenigge hopes such a scenario does not occur too soon, though, given the success enjoyed under Hansi Flick.

Former Germany assistant Flick led Bayern to a Bundesliga, Pokal and Champions League treble last term and Rummenigge is confident of a long association between club and coach.

"I hope he stays [a] long, long, long [time]. This is a coach who for the first time I trust will stay long," he added.

"Three to five years, that would be an extraordinary period."

Among the other topics discussed were who Rummenigge felt were the most important transfers of his tenure in the boardroom.

Unsurprisingly, Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and superstar striker Robert Lewandowski were highlighted as such transfers.

"Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski were the most important transfers," he said.

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