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Exclusive interview, part 2

Rummenigge: We go back to square one

Bayern have completed another successful campaign, culminating in the domestic double triumph last week. “I think we can look back on an excellent rather than just satisfactory season,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge summarises in the second part of a major interview. The club chairman reviews the campaign and draws the necessary conclusions, before casting a first glance ahead to 2014/15. In the third and final part of the interview, to appear on Tuesday, the former world-class striker offers his views on Pep Guardiola and the World Cup in Brazil.

Interview with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, part 2: Mr Rummenigge, before the start of the season you definitely had one or two doubts about the ability of the team to remain hungry after winning the treble. And this campaign has ended with FCB winning the double...
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: I think we can look back on an excellent rather than just satisfactory season. You’d expect the season following a treble to be very difficult. You're slightly short in terms of motivation, commitment and determination. But it was quite the opposite for us last term as there was no dip in performance levels.

How much is that down to Pep Guardiola?
The players, and the coaching staff in particular, have been brilliant. Pep set out a new approach. He has demanded more of the players, supported them and changed the way we play quite a bit. It's thanks to him that we avoided a dip in form.

What was your highlight of the season?
Beating Dortmund in the Cup. When you win the league title after 27 games and then have to wait another seven weeks before you get the trophy you can't get quite as excited. But it felt fantastic after such an exciting final with extra time as well. A wonderful moment.

A lot has been said about goal-line technology since the cup final. FC Bayern have put in another application to have it introduced. Do you think the required two-thirds of the Bundesliga clubs will vote in favour?
I'm not happy that the vote won't be held before December. You need to strike while the iron's hot. And it's hot now! It's very important for the management of the DFL to persuade clubs currently against goal-line technology that it's the right way forward. Mr Rauball spoke in support of goal-line technology in an interview on Monday. As the chairman of the DFL it's up to him to take the lead. That would be an important statement within and beyond the league management body. We're talking about annual costs in the region of €160,000 per club. Given the amount of money in the game, it should be worth it to provide more certainty.

The 4-0 defeat at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final was a big disappointment. Do you still think about that night a lot?
It's not forgotten, particularly as far as Pep is concerned. We paid the price that night for taking our foot off the gas in the league. But the defeat taught us a lesson or two. I think it's incredible and admirable the way Pep stood up immediately and took full responsibility for the result. That's not a given in modern football.

Which players have impressed you most this season?
The whole squad has done brilliantly. Several players have been outstanding. Arjen has had a sensational season, simply world-class. Philipp was impressive again, Manu an absolute safe pair of hands in goal. But there are a couple of players who need to up their performances a bit next season.

There will be a huge wave of expectation ahead of the new campaign after two title-winning seasons.
I don't have any problems coping with pressure. The club has worked hard to get that level of expectation. The team has always managed to come up with the goods over the past two years.

How much will the World Cup affect the new campaign?
The World Cup squeezes the last drop of energy from the players after they've had a hard season here. They'll go to the pain barrier and beyond in Brazil. But we can't afford to say: Let's take a year off now. The players will get enough time to recover. And new players will come in to add excitement and competition to the squad. It's back to square one on 1 July. Then we'll get stuck in again.