It has taken a year to swap their status as serial nearly men for the role of ultimate champions. Twelve months ago, Bayern Munich emulated the Bayer Leverkusen team of 2002, who were nicknamed "Neverkusen" because they never quite won: they were the runners-up in the Bundesliga, the German Cup and the Uefa Champions League. So, a decade on, were Bayern.
Fast forward 12 months and they stand alone. They topped the Bundesliga by an awe-inspiring 25 points and now winners of the Champions League. For only the second time in 37 years, one of Europe's genuine superpowers are officially its finest team.
Beat Stuttgart in Saturday's German Cup final and they will have completed one of the greatest seasons by any team. They have already done a double, scored 148 goals and conceded just 31.
For Pep Guardiola, who takes over in the summer, it presents a challenge: how do you top this? For Jupp Heynckes, who retires next week, it means he will go out on an unparalleled high.
None of the managerial legends, even those such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Bob Paisley, who left the stage as title winners, have also taken their leave in the year they conquered Europe.
At 68, Heynckes is in elite company, joining Jose Mourinho, Ernst Happel and the former Bayern and Borussia Dortmund coach Ottmar Hitzfeld as the only managers to win the Champions League with two different teams.
He was also a runner-up a year ago and, for the veterans of the defeats in the 2010 and 2012 finals, Arjen Robben's winner was a cathartic moment.
Despite the firepower in their forward line, however, Bayern's triumph was attributable to the man furthest from the Dortmund goal.
They had kept 21 clean sheets in the league alone, four more in the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Champions League. They have been so dominant that goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been the Bundesliga's best-paid spectator for much of the season, a luxury item for a team that has scarcely required a goalkeeper.
Belatedly, he was called upon, making four fine saves in the opening quarter and a fine fifth to keep Robert Lewandowski out 10 minutes before half time. His was a virtuoso display.
What one German goalkeeper could do, however, the other could emulate. Neuer was the busier to begin with but then Roman Weidenfeller was occupied regularly. Weidenfeller is part sweeper, part keeper, rarely on his line. The captain sums Dortmund up: he is always on the front foot. Twice he closed Robben down, blocking the Dutchman's shots with his chest.
The last time a Bundesliga side won the Champions League, a German keeper had excelled: Oliver Kahn, in 2001, for Bayern. Then, when it appeared the two were equally unbeatable, came a swift exchange of goals: Mario Mandzukic for Bayern, Ilkay Gundogan for Borussia. Finally, when Weidenfeller appeared certain to be named the man of the match, Robben defeated him.
It was cruel on Dortmund. A country mile adrift of Bayern in the Bundesliga, there was virtually nothing between them at Wembley Stadium.
Dortmund enjoy being underdogs, hassling supposed superiors with their constant pressing and their enthusiastic industry.
Whether traditional giants such as Real Madrid or new forces such as Manchester City, opponents have struggled with their speed. They are fearsomely fit, superbly spirited. It is their way of depriving big names of the oxygen of space. It shows Jurgen Klopp's fearless Dortmund refuse to be intimidated.
Yet they can be weakened. The balance of power in Germany has already shifted from the Ruhr to Bavaria. Munich is now Europe's footballing capital.
Dortmund's hamstrung playmaker Mario Gotze, watching on in a baseball cap, is bound for Bayern. Top scorer Lewandowski may follow. The best team in Europe have the financial muscle and the ambition to get better. They have, too, the manager the rest of the continent coveted, in Guardiola.
Yet Heynckes is the man who has taken Bayern to a new high. And now he heads off into the sunset, having orchestrated an astonishing season.
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