The Transfer of the Season

Bayern Munich’s vehicle fleet is going electric. The legendary soccer club and its partner Audi announced the move in a tongue-in-cheek video about “transfer rumors,” featuring several of Bayern’s star players.

07/30/2020 Photo and Video: AUDI AG Reading Time: 4 min

Power consumption, combined*: 23.8–20.9 kWh/100km (NEDC); 25.9–21.1 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Power consumption, combined*: 23.8–20.9 kWh/100km (NEDC); 25.9–21.1 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Summer is transfer season for the Bundesliga and other top European leagues. The time when existing contracts are cancelled and new ones are signed, when players are exchanged for huge sums of money, snatched up at bargain prices, or acquired on free transfer deals, when they change cities, shirt numbers, or positions. For fans and the media, the summer is a time for frenzied speculation. Will my favorite player go or stay? Will we bring in fresh blood to help improve our performance or steady the ship?

This year, the transfer window is a month longer than usual. “Due to the corona crisis and the resulting postponements of matches, we’ve had to adjust the transfer periods,” explains Peter Frymuth, DFB Vice President League Operations and Soccer Development. With the approval of FIFA, the DFL and DFB extended the transfer window until October 5, 2020 (transfer period I.2).

During this window, club officials traditionally don’t respond to transfer rumors in the media: Who’s coming? Who’s going? They only comment once the ink on the contracts has dried. Bayern Munich made an exception for its long-term partner and stockholder Audi, and produced a tongue-in-cheek video addressing rumors that there’s going to be a big transfer at the club. But the video ends with a neat little twist, for it turns out the transfer isn’t what you might expect: “A perfect transfer! Bayern Munich has made the switch to electric driving.”

On July 3, 2020, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich CEO), Oliver Kahn (member of the Bayern Munich board), and Hildegard Wortmann (member of the Audi board with responsibility for sales and marketing) gave the go-ahead for the construction of 38 charging points. The 150 kW chargers are set to go online in late summer – just in time for the start of the next Bundesliga season, by which point the Bayern players will be driving the all-electric Audi e-tron. In the future, they’ll be able to charge their electric cars in the underground parking lot at the club’s headquarters on Säbener Strasse. In 2021, Audi also plans to install charging points at the Allianz Arena in Munich, so that fans and visitors to the stadium can benefit too.

The players are enthusiastic about the switch to an electric fleet. During the shoot for the Transfer Rumors video, the film crew wanted to briefly instruct Robert Lewandowski on how to handle the Audi e-tron. But the star striker declined, explaining that he’d already had plenty of experience driving an e-tron, and that he especially loves the quiet acceleration. Putting words into action, Lewandowski got in and blasted his way round the training course.

Power consumption, combined*: 22.7–20.6 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26–21.9 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Power consumption, combined*: 22.7–20.6 kWh/100km (NEDC); 26–21.9 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Trans-fer rumors … trans-fer rumors …

Alphonso Davies

Alphonso Davies, Bayern’s new signing from last year, also knows a thing or two about acceleration. In a match against Werder Bremen, he broke the record for the fastest sprint measured since the Bundesliga began collecting tracking data in 2013/14, reaching a dizzying speed of 36.51 km/h. With its acceleration from 0 to 50 km/h in 2.5 seconds, the Audi e-tron can equal that in the blink of an eye. An unfair comparison, but one that illustrates the vehicle’s incredible performance, with a power output of 300 kW and maximum torque of 664 Nm.

The young Canadian is especially popular with fans due to his hilarious TikTok videos and his YouTube channel phonzy, where he likes to document his struggles pronouncing German tongue-twisters. So when he heard the idea of him shooting a clip attempting to say the complicated word Wechselgerüchte (“transfer rumors”), he agreed immediately with a big grin.

I don’t know anything about that. Mais, peut-être je ne comprend pas …

Benjamin Pavard

Another member of Bayern’s formidable defensive line-up is Benjamin Pavard, who was part of France’s World Cup-winning team in 2018 and has helped Bayern concede less than one goal per match this season. A real family man, Pavard took a short vacation to northern France to visit his parents and friends in Lille and Maubeuge before the start of training for the Champions League. He too jokes about his grasp of German in the video: “I don’t know anything about that. Mais, peut etre je ne comprend pas …” However, unlike Davies, he actually speaks German very fluently. Maybe he’s just a bit shy to do it on camera.

Don’t worry, just trust us.

Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski is in a class of his own. The 31-year-old is probably the best striker in the world right now, topping all the goalscoring lists: 34 Bundesliga goals, 11 Champions League goals before the final round has even begun, six goals in the DFB-Pokal. He’s never been in better form. When asked about a possible transfer at Bayern Munich, he answers honestly and with aplomb: “Don’t worry, just trust us.”

If you’ve got a star like Lewandowski in your squad, you really don’t need to worry about any upcoming challenges. Sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić is well aware of that, but it didn’t hold him back from his recent masterstroke: securing Leroy Sané’s transfer to Bayern. The midfielder will be bolstering the team’s offensive capability in the coming season, though he won’t be eligible to play in the Champions League in August 2020.

It’s time for a new era at FC Bayern.

Hasan Salihamidžić

When Salihamidžić is asked in the video whether there’ll be another transfer in the summer break, he responds with an affirmative grin. He’s had a few days’ vacation too, so the atmosphere in the press room is a bit less tense and confrontational than normal. “There’s going to be a change,” he explains. “It’s time for a new era at FC Bayern.” A total of 38 charging points will be provided for the players. The future is electric at Bayern Munich and at Audi.

But, being serious now, what does Salihamidžić have to say about the actual transfer rumors (the question that clubs are always trying to dodge)? Are there going to be changes in the squad too? The sporting director laughs. “I’ll have to see if we have any more money tucked away somewhere!” We’ll be waiting on tenterhooks.

Audi Digital Summer Tour

Home of Football

Audi Digital Summer Tour

Audi and FC Bayern Munich have been going on tour together in the USA and China since 2014 to delight soccer fans across the pond. Due to the global Corona pandemic they thought of something very special and have developed a serious alternative with the first Audi Digital Summer Tour.

To the highlight

Extended partnership

In January 2020, Bayern Munich and Audi announced that they would be extending their partnership until 2029. The next decade will be focused on strategic collaboration on innovative marketing and electrification. The electrification of the club’s Audi fleet is the first step in this direction. Fans can also look forward to sporting highlights on the field. One example is the Audi Summer Tour, which this year has gone digital for the first time. The event kicks off a new global campaign celebrating the “world’s biggest sports family.” Bayern Munich has more members than any other club worldwide, with over 290,000 official members and more than 4,500 organized fan clubs around the globe. The campaign aims to reinforce the feeling of being part of one big family.

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