Applause and applause for Jupp Heynckes

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Alles war bereitet für den ganz großen Abschied. Das Berliner Olympiastadion brodelte. Der „Pott" glänzte golden. Selbst das Wetter spielte mit. Nur das Spiel leider nicht. „Der Einzige, der mir heute Abend leidtut, das ist Jupp", sagte Karl-Heinz Rummenigge zu mitternächtlicher Stunde in der Hauptstadtrepräsentanz der Deutschen Telekom. Man habe alles darangesetzt, Jupp Heynckes mit dem Double aus seiner großen Karriere zu verabschieden. „Aber das Leben ist manchmal kein Wunschkonzert." Und so wanderte der DFB-Pokal nicht in Heynckes' Hände, sondern nach Frankfurt.

Everything was set for a great goodbye. The Olympiastadion in Berlin was bubbling. The gold trophy glistening. Even the weather played ist part. Just the match failed to go to plan. "The only person I feel sorry for this evening is Jupp," said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in his post-match banquet speech at the Hauptstadtrepräsentanz der Deutschen Telekom. Everyone had set out to give Jupp Heynckes a parting gift of the double as he retired. "But life isn't always a picnic." Which meant the DFB Cup wasn't lifted by Jupp Heynckes but by Eintracht Frankfurt.

Nevertheless, the guests at the meal generously applauded the departing FCB head coach. "FC Bayern needs to say, 'thank you'," Rummenigge said of Heynckes' eight-month spell in charge. From five points off top spot in the Bundesliga, the Bavarians finished 21 points clear, reached the Champions League semi-final and the final of the DFB Cup. "That deserves the greatest respect."

Dennoch feierten die geladenen Gäste auf dem Pokal-Bankett des FC Bayern den scheidenden Chefcoach mit donnerndem Applaus. „Es steht dem FC Bayern sehr gut zu Gesicht, ‚Danke' zu sagen", erinnerte Rummenigge an Heynckes' Verdienste in den vergangene acht Monaten. Aus fünf Punkten Rückstand wurden in der Bundesliga am Ende 21 Punkte Vorsprung, in der Champions League führte er die Mannschaft ins Halbfinale, im DFB-Pokal ins Endspiel. „Das verdient größten Respekt."

“The best thing is his humanity, his warmth. He brought the fun and togetherness back to the team.”

Jerome Boateng

Heynckes himself was still in coaching mode after the game. As usual, he carefully analysed the 3-1 defeat against Eintracht, congratulated the opponents and looked to make no excuses out of the shots against the frame of the goal and debatable refereeing decisions. "It just wasn't meant to be today. I can't blame my players at all. I know you get days like this in football."

He passed on the applause of the guests to his team. "The lads have worked superbly all year," the 73-year-old stressed. "It was quite easy for me. The players showed me so much respect. We worked together so harmoniously. We all came together." The Bundesliga title was deserved reward.

“We all wanted a different game to wish him farewell and end with a trophy. He’s the greatest coach Germany has ever seen.”

Sven Ulreich

Heynckes now brings down the curtain on his career for a second time, but he has no concrete plans for the coming days and weeks. "I now need some time away. It was quite stressful in recent weeks. I need to come back down to a normal pace of life and return to my own bed. Then I'll do what I like."

Heynckes seemingly sails off into the sunset without any great wistfulness. "I'm not 45 or 50. I understand my own strengths. At 73, you don't know how long you've got left. I'd like to enjoy my life again starting next week," he said, speaking of his farm near Mönchengladbach, where he lives with his wife and dog Cando. "I wish you all the best, Jupp," Rummenigge said in farewell. "You did something great for Bayern Munich." Thank you, Jupp!


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