Created on 31-03-2016 at 10:55 AM
Niko and Robert Kovac know the Allianz Arena very well. The brothers have visited FC Bayern’s home stadium time and again, watching the German record champions from the stands. On Saturday this familiar perspective will change as the former Bayern pros sit in the dugout when Eintracht Frankfurt cross swords with FC Bayern at 15.30 CET.
“It's always been one of our goals to coach a Bundesliga team at some point,” Robert Kovac told club journal Bayern Magazin in an extensive interview in the build-up to the match. The Kovac brothers coached the Croatia national team until September 2015, but now Eintracht is all that counts! “Niko and I were surprised that it all went so quickly. I'm all the more looking forward to returning to my old stomping ground.”
Niko played for Bayern from 2001 to 2003, Robert from 2001 to 2005. Now they are the first brothers to coach a Bundesliga team in 15 years. Most recently Friedhelm and Wolfgang Funkel worked together for Hansa Rostock in 2001. “Robbie and I decide many things together. Two heads know more than one, four eyes see more than two,” explained Niko Kovac. However, one thing is clear: “It's me who talks to the team. And there can only be one who gives instructions from the coaching zone.”
Many contacts with Munich
Eintracht are in for a “very, very, very difficult task,” according to the 44-year-old. The Kovac brothers do not believe Munich will already be distracted by the Champions League quarter-finals against Benfica in the upcoming phase of midweek games: “No way! The Bayern players have a very professional attitude, and when you play for this club success is everything.”
The Kovac brothers experienced that at first hand when playing for the German record champions. “I won more trophies with FC Bayern than anywhere else,” recalled Robert, who won the double in 2004 and 2005 and the Club World Cup in 2001 with the Bavarians. “In this sense Munich was a very special part of my career.” He still has many contacts at the Säbener Strasse HQ: “I'm still in touch with Raimond Aumann and many officials. Sometimes I call Andy Jung.” However, old friendships will of course be set aside for 90 minutes on Saturday.