Marcel Witeczek: Time as a pro is a great ice-breaker
UEFA Cup winner and two-time German champion Marcel Witeczek achieved a lot with FC Bayern. The 51-year-old made 123 appearances for Bayern from 1993 to 1997, scoring 12 goals. Witeczek, a 1985 U-17 World Championship and 1987 U-20 World Championship Golden Shoe winner, called time on his career in 2007 but plays for the FC Bayern Legends today. He talked about his time at Bayern and life after his active career in an interview with club magazine '51'.
Marcel Witeczek interviewed
Marcel, you're a Bayern Legends player – what do you do off the pitch?
I've been working for AOK[health insurance company] for 15 years. I'm part of the prevention team, I encourage children and adolescents to do more sport.
Do you benefit from your career as a footballer?
It makes everything more authentic. I can tell stories from my active career again and again, others can't do that. Everything's more relaxed then, the kids have more fun and ask a lot of questions. My time as a pro is very good to break the ice in any school class.
What kind of questions do the children ask?
Well, of course there are many questions regarding FC Bayern. Who was your best coach? Who was the best player you've ever played with? I once scored a goal against Stuttgart on the second to last matchday, we won the title that day – I fondly look back on it, and I tell the kids. They also have questions about the 1985 World Youth Championship in China because they're most interested in how it was when I was about their age.
Was the time at FC Bayern the best in your career?
Definitely. It sounds incredible, but I had a new coach every year in the first 12, 13 years as a pro. Turbulent times! It was the same at FC Bayern: it started with Erich Ribbeck, then Giovanni Trapattoni, followed by Franz Beckenbauer, Otto Rehhagel, then Franz again, and Trap again – six coaches in four years. But we won two championship titles and the UEFA Cup. It can't have been that bad. And not many can say Franz coached them. I had him as coach twice. (grins)
How are your ties to Bayern today?
I've played for the Legends from the start, that alone means I have close ties to the club. It's a lot of fun, most matches are for a good cause – I'm glad I continue to be part of the FC Bayern family this way.
Witeczek won the UEFA Cup with Bayern in 1996. Munich achieved a remarkable victory over Nottingham Forest on their way to the title: