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‘Couldn’t be better!'

Rummenigge reviews a glorious year

The most successful 12-month period in Bayern’s 113-year history is drawing to a close. The men from Munich have collected five trophies, most recently the Club World Cup. Furthermore, at the Annual General Meeting in November the club yet again unveiled new financial records, underscoring its position in the world elite. Just before the mid-season break Karl-Heinz Rummenigge looked back over 2013 in an exclusive FCB.tv interview.

Karl Heinz Rummenigge on…

…the year 2013:

“I’d say it couldn’t be better! You’ll never find a better headline than that. It was a year of superlatives. We won the treble, then the European Super Cup and now the Club World Cup. But what’s pleased me just as much as all these trophies and our performances on the field is the way the team has conducted itself off the field. The players are very composed and serene, never critical, never arrogant. They’ve been wonderful. I think FC Bayern has never been more likeable and appealing than now. Huge credit to the team and both coaches, Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola, for everything they’ve achieved this year.“

…the significance of the trophy haul:

“Obviously it was an important year. We’d gone two seasons without trophies, with Borussia Dortmund winning the Bundesliga twice and beating us 5–2 in the 2012 DFB Cup final. Obviously, there’s no doubt that caused us a certain amount of mental anguish. But I think the team reacted well, the coaches did exactly what had to be done, and most importantly we’ve earned ourselves a great deal of recognition and respect both at home and internationally. Without any exaggeration I would say we’re among the three best-known teams in the world. You have to tip your hat to the team, the coaches and probably the whole club.“

...raised expectations after such a successful year:

“I’m basically fairly relaxed about this. I don’t know if it’ll be possible to win the treble again. My impression is that the coach is doing his absolute best and he’s very ambitious, but I’m basically no dreamer. For me the German championship is the most honest title. I think we’re in a good position to defend the title thanks to the lead the team has built up in the first half of the season. The Champions League is always the icing on the cake, but it only really gets going with the last sixteen. The bar is set extremely high and you have to take each round as it comes. We shouldn’t be thinking beyond trying to beat Arsenal. We’ve been drawn against very tough opponents.”

…the challenge of maintaining the current high standard:

“Football is the same as any other sport: The winner takes it all. Success is obviously extremely important, but I think you have to treat success with great care. We always use this excellent word ‘benchmark’. In football that’s meant Barcelona when Pep was the boss there. They won something every year, and most importantly they always made it at least as far as the Champions League semi-finals. That’s what we’re aiming for now, a degree of stability. We won’t win the Champions League every season, but it would obviously be wonderful if we were always one of the top four teams. Reaching this level is tough, and staying there is even tougher. But with this team and this coach I think we do have a chance.“

…his wishes for 2014:

“I’m basically quite calm about next year, because this year hasn’t really sunk in mentally yet. There’s so much hustle and bustle, and I have the impression it’s even more hectic than ever around Christmas. I think I’ll use the holidays to reflect on everything that’s happened and review it mentally. I’m extremely happy I had the opportunity to be part of this year. It’s been a fantastic experience.“

Watch the interview in full on FCB.tv.