Created on 04-06-2013 at 00:00 AM
Treble-winning coach Jupp Heynckes has defied speculation linking him with high profile positions elsewhere by declaring he is to step away from the game when his contract with Bayern expires on 30 June. The 68-year-old announced his decision at a farewell press conference at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Tuesday, bringing down the curtain at least for now on a 50-year association with professional football.
“The first thing I’m going to do is go on holiday. I won’t be taking up any engagement after 1 July, neither here in Germany nor abroad. I’m going to withdraw, recover, and become a private individual,” Heynckes stated. “Of all of us, he’s the one who deserves his vacation the most,” commented FCB chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
“The entire club is eternally grateful to Jupp,” continued Rummenigge, “there couldn’t be a better or more deserved way to say farewell.” Bayern president Uli Hoeneß, a long-standing friend of the outgoing coach, said: “Our friend is probably leaving Munich, but that won’t end our friendship. It's become even deeper.”
Five decades in the game
“The coaching job at FC Bayern costs a huge amount in terms of resolve, power and energy,” Heynckes noted. “Especially over the last few weeks, I’ve sensed that I’ve been at the limit. It was incredibly demanding, incredibly all-encompassing.“ After his five decades in the game and the crowning glory of the treble, Heynckes is now determined to make his private life the priority. “I have so many interests,” he explained.
Heynckes had previously confirmed his departure from the German Bundesliga in a statement made on 10 May. Following Bayern's record-breaking 2012/13 campaign, and with the top flight title already in the bag with six games to spare, the man who ultimately led FCB to the league crown by a 25-point margin over Borussia Dortmund said he had “no personal goal of taking over another Bundesliga club in any form."
No return to Real
Since then, speculation has been rife as to Heynckes potentially accepting another coaching role at club or national team level. The press frequently linked the 68-year-old with Spain's most successful club Real Madrid, who Heynckes led to Champions League glory in 1998. However, Real have been forced to turn elsewhere as they seek to replace outgoing boss José Mourinho.
Despite all the indications to the contrary, Heynckes did not entirely rule out returning to the game at a later date. “I have something personal against finality,” he insisted. However, it appears highly unlikely the 68-year-old will resume his career in the dugout, even after a spell of rest and rehabilitation away from football. “There’s life after working life too. I want to enjoy my life now,” he said.
As a parting gift, Rummenigge and Hoeneß presented Heynckes with a copy of the club’s magnificent official history, the FC Bayern Chronicle, embossed with the message “Thank you Jupp“ and numbered 1613 to mark the date 1 June 2013, the day of the DFB Cup triumph in Berlin which sealed the historic treble.