'To me, this isn't a job, it's a passion!' Only one man at Bayern could be responsible for such a statement: Uli Hoeneß. In 1979, at the tender age of 27, he became the club's general manager.
Hoeneß, born on 5 January 1952, played eight seasons for the club as a striker (1970-1978). He collected championship (1972-74), European Cup (1974-1976) and World Club Cup (1976) honours during this time. With the German national side, he won the European Championship in 1972, and the World Cup in 1974. In 1978 he moved to 1. FC Nuremberg.
Hoeneß scored 86 goals in 239 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern. He was always top fit, and was known as a mazy dribbler. And even as a player, he demonstrated his now characteristic ambition. Injury ended his playing career in 1979 at the age of 27, and he stepped up to the management team at Bayern.
In over 20 years as general manager, and as deputy chairman after Bayern converted to a limited company, Hoeneß has made the club one of the most successful in the world, in both sporting and financial terms. Bayern has become a worldwide brand, with Hoeneß the club's 'Action Man'. in 1999, his performance earned him the title 'Manager of the year.' At the present time, Bayern without Hoeneß is an unimaginableconcept, as he embodies the spirit of the club like no other.
But he has already announced he will quit the job in 2006. He says the decision is irreversible, 'because that will definitely be it for me.' Hoeneß has put on record his annoyance at being asked about the subject every two years, 'and now everybody knows I'm giving up after the World Cup - or maybe half a year later, so I can help my successor get to grips with the job.'
Until then, he has one overriding wish: 'That I still get up in the morning happy with the fact that I am who I am. That my dog jumps up onto my stomach. That I can help a few people to enjoy life a bit more, in that FC Bayern functions properly.'