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Heynckes' farewell interview

‘I recommended Van Gaal to Hoeneß'

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Five and a half weeks after stepping into the breach left by Jürgen Klinsmann, caretaker boss Jupp Heynckes took charge of the FCB team for the last time in Sittard on Sunday. The 64-year-old, who successfully guided Bayern into next term’s Champions League, talked to about his second spell in Munich, and revealed why he personally recommended new boss Louis van Gaal to the board of directors.

Interview: Jupp Heynckes Jupp Heynckes, are you looking forward to spending more time with your dog Cando?
Jupp Heynckes: “Of course. We’ve not seen each other since I stepped in to help Bayern. It’s a very close relationship, so I reckon there’s a mutual yearning there. I hope he forgives me for being away so long (laughs).” From your very first day back at Bayern, you were a model of confidence and assurance. Weren’t you at all nervous about the assignment?
Heynckes: “No, I wasn’t nervous. I know the club inside and out, I know what makes the board tick, and I already knew lots of the ‘team behind the team’. I was certain the players and I would gel – and it duly turned out very harmonious. The team reacted positively to me and were very disciplined. It was a wonderful working environment and I really enjoyed it.” It was two years since you last coached, so how hard was returning to the training ground every day and taking responsibility for the team?
Heynckes: “I had to hit the ground running, so there was no time to reflect. I fell back on my experience, my expertise and my gut feeling. I clicked with the players at once. It was as if I’d always been there. I saw the way they enjoyed working on tactics and set plays. They took it all on board, and did things better and better with every game.”