Created on 09-05-2015 at 08:00 AM
Jupp Heynckes, the “child of the Bundesliga,” as he once called himself, was involved in professional football for more than 50 years. As a player he was European and world champion, UEFA Cup winner, German champion, cup winner and top scorer. He was very successful as a coach too, but he saved the ultimate achievement for the end: in his last season he won the treble with FC Bayern in 2013 – Heynckes was the first German coach to achieve the feat. Some two years after this historical accomplishment the world coach of the year for 2013 has another reason to celebrate: Jupp Heynckes turns 70 on Saturday!
“With the Champions League triumph at Wembley Jupp has made himself immortal. Jupp was a fantastic coach. But above all Jupp is a wonderful person, a gentleman, an idol,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in tribute. “We wish him, his wife Iris, and his family luck and health and we hail him in the traditional way: Jupp! Jupp! Jupp!,” Rummenigge continued.
'50 years of football is enough'
“Jupp! Jupp! Jupp!,” thousands of FCB fans had chanted on Marienplatz in Munich in June 2013, when Heynckes and his team presented the trophies for winning the championship, the DFB Cup, and the Champions League on the Town Hall balcony. In terms of sports it was the most successful year to this day in the 115-year-old history of FC Bayern. “What he gave us is worth more than its weight in gold,” Rummenigge stressed. “The door will always be open for you, not only because of your success, but also because of your benevolence.”
A few days later Heynckes declared his intention to leave the football business. “Being coach at FC Bayern costs a great deal of resources, power, and energy,” the then 68-year-old said. “There is a life after a career too. I want to enjoy my life.” Numerous lucrative offers from abroad couldn't change his mind. “Some big Spanish clubs wanted to hire me, offering horrendous sums,” revealed Heynckes, “but 50 years of professional football is enough.”
'I won't get bored'
Since then he has simply enjoyed his life as a pensioner. “Living everyday life as a private person is comfortable,” said Heynckes, who lives on a secluded farm close to Mönchengladbach. Now he can devote his time to the “normal things in life,” such as visits to cinemas, restaurants and concerts as well as walks with his wife Iris and his dog Cando. “I have so many hobbies, I think I won't get bored,” he had predicted when he retired.
When Heynckes finished his active career, after 369 Bundesliga matches, 220 goals, four championship titles, and the triumphs in the European Championship and the World Cup in 1972 and 1974, he began his coaching career as assistant to Udo Lattek at Gladbach. Subsequently he became head coach there. His subsequent positions were Bayern Munich, where he won his first two national titles (1989 and 1990), and Athlétic Bilbao. After a brief spell of nine months at Eintracht Frankfurt he returned to Spain and was taken on by CD Tenerife in 1995.
Champions League triumph with Real
Two years later he was hired by Real Madrid, seen by Heynckes as “Olympus for a coach” – the deep fall included: eight days after his Champions League triumph in 1998 Don Jupp was fired. After a brief spell in Lisbon at Benfica he had a second stint in Bilbao, subsequently returning to Germany for good, where FC Schalke and once again Mönchengladbach were his next positions. At the latter club he resigned after just 215 days.
It turned out to be a lucky coincidence that Uli Hoeness, then Bayern manager, managed to convince him to make a comeback. After a hiatus of 27 months Jupp Heynckes became successor to Jürgen Klinsmann, five matchdays before the end of the 2008-09 season. Heynckes couldn't win the championship but led FCB to the runners-up spot, qualifying for the Champions League. Heynckes was on fire again, accepting an offer by Bayer Leverkusen, becoming Bundesliga runners-up in 2011, subsequently starting the glorious final chapter of his career at FC Bayern. Happy 70th Birthday, Jupp! Jupp! Jupp!