Flick: 'Vigorously competitive' is a nice way to describe my team
Hansi Flick and his team have celebrated historic successes. What's behind all this? In an interview, the head coach looks back on FC Bayern's superb year.
Hansi Flick, Thomas Müller thinks you're brave because you've never played it safe with FC Bayern from day one. Is he right?
"For me, the question of playing it safe has never really arisen. I knew this team had enormous quality in attack and I was always a fan of putting pressure on our opponents early on. Our players have now developed a basic trust in themselves. Over time, something very beautiful has arisen."
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says: "I would call the style we play today the FC Bayern style". Is there a greater compliment than that from the CEO?
"If that's what he says and that's how he feels, then I'm definitely pleased. My point is that FC Bayern needs a clear DNA, and my coaching team and I want to pass that on to the players. This DNA should not only be directly visible in the games, but also in our academy work, in scouting, in all areas. I think it is important, especially in today's world, that it's clear what FC Bayern stands for: Possessing the ball, being dominant, playing attacking football. This is how we develop the position profile for each individual player".
Board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic has praised you, saying you know how to "commit the whole team to one goal. With him, a team does not consist of eleven players, but of 22, 23, 24. In addition, he has a clear footballing vision which he consistently puts into practice". Was your teamtalk before the final in Lisbon the hardest or in fact the easiest?
"We had previously thought about how we could thank each player - because no matter how the game ended, it had already been a great performance by everyone up to that point. We asked the players' families for videos and had a very emotional clip put together. When I saw the film in advance, it gave me goose bumps. And when we watched the clip together before the game, some of them had tears in their eyes."
Do you understand everything about your players?
"No. I understand a lot - but there is one point in particular where there is a clear limit: regarding quality. If I'm not always ready for the extra mile, I have no place at FC Bayern. And I have no sympathy if someone doesn't understand that. We don't need a player here who only jumps as high as he has to jump. The attitude must be to want to improve every day. But that's exactly what I see in this team with every little thing: nobody wants to lose even when playing football tennis in training. I think 'vigorously competitive' is a nice way of describing this team. Our players are there when they need to be there. Everyone here knows: I'm here at FC Bayern, I work at FC Bayern, it's all about winning, leagues and trophies. A lot is demanded of us, you always have to be ready. The focus in this team is there."
What sticks more in your memory when you look back at 2020: coronavirus or the Treble?
"I find it hard to separate things this year. That's probably how everyone feels when they look back on 2020. For me, there is the joy because of the tremendous success that the team, the coaching staff, the whole club has achieved - but of course there is also this pandemic that has massively changed our lives and the everyday lives of all of us. Should we now be sad, angry, bitter? I think we all had a lot to learn from a situation we could never have predicted. And this process continues. Just the other day I saw the world map on TV - practically everything was marked red because of infection rates. Against the background of this particular pandemic situation, the performance of our team has been something very special. We rose to the challenge, and that's how life must be."
(Photos: Julian Baumann)
Hansi Flick is one of the five coaches nomiated for FIFA Coach of the Year. You can cast your vote and help FCB's coach shine: