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Fußball-Club Bayern München e.V., commonly known as FC Bayern München, FCB (German pronunciation: [ʔɛf ˈt͡seː ˈbaɪ̯ɐn ˈmʏnçən]), Bayern Munich, or FC Bayern, is a German sports club based in Munich, Bavaria. It is best known for its professional football team, which plays in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system, and is the most successful club in German football history, having won a record 24 national titles and 17 national cups.
FC Bayern was founded in 1900 by eleven football players led by Franz John. Although Bayern won its first national championship in 1932, the club was not selected for the Bundesliga at its inception in 1963. The club had its period of greatest success in the middle of the 1970s when, under the captaincy of Franz Beckenbauer, it won the European Cup three times in a row (1974–76). Overall, Bayern has reached ten European Cup/UEFA Champions League finals, most recently winning their fifth title in 2013 as part of a continental treble. Bayern has also won one UEFA Cup, one European Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup and two Intercontinental Cups, making it one of the most successful European clubs internationally. Since the formation of the Bundesliga, Bayern has been the dominant club in German football with 23 titles and has won 6 of the last 10 titles. They have traditional local rivalries with TSV 1860 München and 1. FC Nürnberg, as well as a contemporary rivalry with Borussia Dortmund.
Since the beginning of the 2005–06 season, Bayern has played its home games at the Allianz Arena. Previously the team had played at Munich's Olympiastadion for 33 years. The team colours are red and white, and the team crest shows the white and blue flag of Bavaria. In terms of revenue, Bayern Munich is the biggest sports club in Germany and the fourth biggest football club in the world, generating €368.4 million in 2012. With 223,985 members Bayern is the second-biggest sports club of the world in terms of membership, only just short of the world’s first on this measure, Portuguese club Benfica. There are more than 3,800 officially-registered fan clubs with over 285,000 members. The club has other departments for chess, handball, basketball, gymnastics, bowling, table tennis, referees, and senior football with more than 1,100 active members.
After the 2012–13 season, FC Bayern was ranked second in UEFA's club coefficient rankings and first in IFFHS's IFFHS Club World Ranking.
In the original club constitution, Bayern's colours were named as white and blue, but the club played in white shirts with black shorts until 1905, when Bayern joined MSC. MSC decreed that the footballers would have to play in red shorts. Also the younger players were called red-shorts, which was meant as an insult. For most of the club's early history, Bayern had primarily worn white and maroon home kits. In 1968–69 season, Bayern changed to red and blue striped shirts, with blue shorts and socks. Between 1969 and 1973, the team wore a home strip of red and white striped shirts with either red or white shorts and red socks. In the 1973–74 season, the team switched to an all white kit featuring single vertical red and blue stripes on the shirt. From 1974 onwards, Bayern have mostly worn an all red home kit, with white trim. Bayern revived the red and blue striped colour scheme between 1995 and 1997. In 1997, blue was the dominant colour for the first time when Adidas released an all navy blue home kit with a red chest band. In 1999, Bayern returned to a predominantly red kit, which featured blue sleeves, and in 2000 the club released a traditional all red kit with white trim to be worn for Champions League matches. Bayern also wore a Rotwein coloured home kits in Bundesliga matches between 2001 and 2003, and during the 2006–07 Champions League campaign, in reference to their first choice colours prior to the late 1960s.
The club's away kit has had a wide range of colours over the years, including white, black, blue, and gold-green. Bayern also features a distinct international kit. During the 2013–14 season, Bayern have used an all red home kit with a Bavarian flag diamond watermark pattern, a Lederhosen inspired white and black Oktoberfest away kit, and an all navy blue international kit.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Bayern used a special away kit when playing at 1. FC Kaiserslautern, representing the Brazilian colours blue and yellow, a superstition borne from the fact that the club found it hard to win there.