Jupp Heynckes – the player – the coach – the man: A portrait
"Jupp! Jupp! Jupp!" – the echo of these chants still resonates. At the Allianz Arena, on Marienplatz – and probably even at Wembley Stadium in London. Thousands of FC Bayern fans chanted these words in May and June 2013 after the record champions celebrated the most successful season in the club's history by winning the treble. The father of this success was the coach Josef ‘Jupp’ Heynckes. Seven years after that historic triumph, there is now another reason for the great coach to celebrate: Jupp Heynckes is 75 on Saturday!
Jupp Heynckes will not have a raucous party like the one after the 2013 treble ("The best we ever had at Bayern," said Bastian Schweinsteiger), due to the current restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic. "We will stay at home due to the current situation," said Heynckes in an interview with kicker. My wife will make a great meal and we'll drink a glass of wine and share a trip down memory lane. I'm more suited to quiet celebrations."
Career ends at FC Bayern in 2018
The "child of the Bundesliga", as Jupp Heynckes described himself, was involved in professional football for 53 years. He made 1,038 appearance in Germany's top flight as a player and a coach, and only Otto Rehhagel (1,033) can keep up with that record number. After his fourth spell at FC Bayern, Heynckes ended his remarkable career in May 2018 with winning the fourth league title following on from 1989, 1990 and 2013. The desired double escaped him after defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFB Cup final.
Open door in Munich
But that does not spoil his successful CV. At the latest, by winning the Champions League at Wembley, "Jupp made himself immortal," declared Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "Jupp was a fantastic coach. But Jupp is, above all, a wonderful human being, a gentleman, a role model," said Bayern's chairman in paying tribute to Heynckes on his birthday and he gave him 'a carte blanche' when he left. "We'll always keep the door open for you, not just because of your success but also due to your humanity."
Title collector and top goalscorer
The ninth of ten children knew where he was headed at an early age. "I always wanted to be a footballer. I did everything I could to achieve that even when I was a teenager," said Heynckes in recalling his childhood. At the age of 17, he joined Borussia Mönchengladbach where he spent almost all of his career as a player with the exception of three years at Hanover 96. As a player, he was a World Cup winner and European Champion, UEFA Cup winner, champion of Germany, DFB Cup winner and top goalscorer. He ended his playing career in 1978 after making 369 Bundesliga appearances and scoring 220 goals. In his last match, he netted five goals in a game for the first and only time.
Assistant, head coach, champion coach
He then went on to begin his coaching career at Gladbach. First as assistant to Udo Lattek and then head coach. He moved on to FC Bayern in 1987 where he won both national trophies as coach in 1989 and 1990 following on from four league titles as a player. FC Bayern and Heynckes parted company in October 1991 after only one victory in seven league fixtures. Honorary president Uli Hoeneß later described that decision as the "biggest miscalculation" of his career.
First UCL honour with Real Madrid 1998
Heynckes went to Spain and successfully coached Athletic Bilbao for two years. After a nine-month spell at Eintracht Frankfurt, he returned to the Iberian peninsular at CD Tenerifffa. Two years later, he was snapped up by Real Madrid, which Heynckes described as the "Olympus for a coach". In 1997/98 he came very close to experiencing the highs and lows of sport in quick succession. Just eight days after winning the Champions League, Real's first time in 30 plus years, Don Jupp was released by (recently deceased) president Lorenzo Sanz.
Comeback at FC Bayern
Benfica and Bilbao again were his next clubs before finally returning to Germany in 2003 where he was at FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Mönchengladbach again. On 31 January 2007, he resigned from relegation threatened Borussia after just 215 days in charge. After a 27-month break, FC Bayern general manager Hoeneß brought his long-standing friend out of retirement in the spring of 2009 as successor to Jürgen Klinsmann. In the remaining five games, Heynckes led FCB to second spot and a place in the Champions League.
Treble and world coach
The qualified plasterer had a second wind and he accepted an offer from Bayer 04 Leverkusen, was league runner-up in 2011 and then began his third period in charge at FC Bayern that turned out to be the most glorious chapter of his exceptional career. But first he suffered a bitter disappointment. In 2011/12, his Bundesliga runners-up lost the cup final and then the Champions League final at home to Chelsea at the Allianz Arena. But that just further increased Heynckes' desire for titles. As the first German coach ever, he won the treble in the following season and in the same year was named World Coach of the Year. In the summer of 2013, he announced his (temporary) retirement from the world of football.
'50 years in professional football are enough'
He couldn't be swayed by numerous, lucrative offers from abroad. "Several big Spanish clubs wanted to sign me and they offered horrendous amounts," revealed the then 68-year-old, "but 50 years in professional football are enough." The fact he was back in the dugout four years later was a surprise for the stalwart himself. However, FC Bayern again asked for help from their treble coach – and Heynckes said yes. "He goes down in history as a saviour for FC Bayern in a very difficult situation," said Hoeneß after the season, Heynckes had "done a fantastic job" and "completed his job 100 per cent to our satisfaction."
Farewell with the Bundesliga trophy
He was back in charge at FC Bayern for the fourth time following the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti with FCB five points behind Borussia Dortmund. In the end, his team lifted the title with a 21-point advantage over Schalke 04 – his fourth championship as coach. In the summer of 2018, he finally went into retirement, which he spends together with his wife Iris at their farm in Schwalmtal. "I'm completely grateful for the life I've had although it was very busy with work and strenuous," said Heynckes looking back – and he possibly still had the chants of: 'Jupp! Jupp! Jupp! ringing in his ears.