Created on 24-05-2009 at 00:00 AM
After Bayern completed Saturday’s 2-1 victory over VfB Stuttgart, securing their place in next season’s Champions League, Jupp Heynckes stepped forward to accept the applause he richly deserved. He stood alone in front of the south terrace faithful, as the crowd chanted his name in praise. Beaming and satisfied, Heynckes visibly revelled in the moment.
“I’m a very level-headed person and I’ve seen and done a lot in football,” the 64-year-old commented afterwards, “but the fans’ reaction was definitely a compliment for the work the team’s put in for me.” Added general manager Uli Hoeneß: “We can’t be grateful enough to him for leading us to second place in such an assured manner. He is and will always remain a friend of mine and Bayern Munich football club.”
Heynckes spontaneously agreed to step into the breach after Hoeneß and his fellow board directors dismissed Jürgen Klinsmann four weeks ago. Together with assistant boss Hermann Gerland, he swiftly nurtured the sense of a new start at the Säbener Strasse. He held face-to-face talks with a number of players, including a blossoming Lukas Podolski, and also “turned things round both technically and tactically,” Rummenigge stated.