Ovations and misty eyes for Heynckes' farewell

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After 53 years and 1,038 games, Jupp Heynckes’ Bundesliga career finally came to an end. Following the lifting of the Meisterschale and the obligatory title photos, the players began to turn their eyes towards the oversized Weißbier glasses being brought out. However, the FCB coach decided to make his way towards the changing room in the Allianz Arena. In that way he avoided the fate afforded to numerous members of staff (Hasan Salihamidzic, Hermann Gerland, Toni Tapalovic etc) of being targeted for a famed Weißbierdusche (a beer shower).

“I’d already decided before the game I wanted to get inside as quickly as possible,” Heynckes later explained. “It isn’t really necessary to be soaked in beer at my age.” However, the 73-year-old was able to soak up the applause of 75,000 spectators prior to the match.

He was clearly moved before kick-off in his final Bundesliga game as the Allianz Arena collectively rose to applaud. President Uli Hoeneß and Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge handed over flowers and a collage of his team where all the players had left a message of thanks. Heynckes waved goodbye to the stadium with misty eyes.

The game itself, a 4-1 loss to VfB Stuttgart, was as ever watched by the coach in business-like fashion from the bench. He rarely took to his feet to give directions from his technical area. “You get days like this,” he later said of the match. “But the result doesn’t take away from what we’ve achieved all season. We’ve had an amazing campaign and played great football. This game doesn’t detract from that.”

With a 21-point lead, his team were clear champions. When Heynckes took over in October, FCB were five points off top spot. Eight months later, and Don Jupp has once again shown what he can do in his fourth spell in charge of the record champions. His fourth Bundesliga title as a coach is just reward, and he can still go on to win a second DFB Cup as a coach next week in Berlin. It would be Heynckes’ 10th title with FC Bayern, and the crowning achievement of a great career.

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