Karl Hopfner honoured with Order of Merit
Everyone was dressed up in suits and ties, dresses and high heels as they gathered at Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, just a stone's throw away from the founding place of FC Bayern in the centre of Munich, to honour Karl Hopfner. The Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Joachim Herrmann, bestowed upon the former President and Vice-Chairman of FC Bayern the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had awarded the 65-year-old this honour "in recognition of his special services to the people and state", as it stated on the certificate.
"Your efforts deserve great respect and the highest recognition. You've achieved something great," Herrmann declared of Hopfner's decade-long services "to German and international football, and therefore also to Munich, the Free State of Bavaria and the common good. When I was a child, the most famous thing about Munich was the Oktoberfest. Now it's FC Bayern." Hopfner's social engagement as a founding member of FC Bayern Hilfe eV was also "an essential aspect of this award."
„“It’s a great honour.””
In an informal ceremonial atmosphere, and in front of his wife Anne, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (FCB Chairman), Dr. Edmund Stoiber (Chairman of the FCB administration advisory council and former Minister President of Bavaria), Bernd Rauch (FCB honorary Vice-President) and Benjamin Folkmann (FCB club secretary), Herrmann affixed the Cross to Hopfner's lapel. It is one of the highest honours awarded in Germany.
Hopfner expressed thanks for the "great honour. Everyone sitting here now has played their part in me receiving this award." The Munich native reserved special thanks for "my beloved wife, who has always stood by me. Even when I've worked seven days a week. This award belongs mostly to you."
General Manager, Chairman, President
Hopfner started at Bayern in 1983 as the club's General Manager, becoming a member of the board in 2002 when the club was restructured into a public limited company before he was named Deputy Chairman in 2009. After stepping down from the board in 2012, he was elected Vice-President of FC Bayern München eV and joined the board of directors of the public limited company. When President Uli Hoeneß was unable to fulfil his duties, it was a point of honor for Hopfner to volunteer for the role between 2014 and 2016, taking of the office of President and also Chairman of the board of directors. To this day he remains the Chairman of FC Bayern Hilfe eV, which supports people in need.
Whether as General Manager or as Chairman overseeing finances, ticket and member services, organisation, internal services, rights, staff, representing FC Bayern München AG socially, whether as a member of the DFL, the DFB board or as first Vice-Chairman of the UEFA club commission -- Karl Hopfner has always placed his work first, never himself.
33 years, countless titles
The qualified business economist played a major part in the construction of the Allianz Arena between 2002 and 2005, making it one of the most modern and greatest stadiums in the world. Despite costs of €340 million, the Allianz Arena is now completely owned by FC Bayern. At 65 years of age, the keen golfer is one of the driving forces behind the youth performance centre at Ingolstädter Straße.
Karl Hopfner has played a part in over 40 domestic and international titles during his 33 years with FC Bayern. That includes UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup triumphs in 2001 and 2013, the European Supercup in 2013, the UEFA Cup in 1996, as well as 12 Bundesliga and 19 DFB Cup titles.