Dieter Hoeneß, Interview

Dieter Hoeneß: Proud to be a part of Bayern’s history

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Dieter Hoeneß scored 145 goals for FC Bayern, with one of those writing his name into the history books. To mark his 70th birthday, we spoke to the former striker about the 1982 DFB Cup final, creating legends and giant champagne corks.

Interview with Dieter Hoeneß

Oliver Kahn and his three penalty saves in the Champions League final in Milan in 2001, Arjen Robben at Wembley in 2013, Bastian Schweinsteiger and his cut in the 2014 World Cup final, you in the 1982 DFB Cup final: great footballers are often associated with an iconic image. What do you think of this kind of legend-making?

“It makes you proud that you’ve obviously left your mark. But creating legends is a bit too exaggerated from my point of view . Back then I simply concentrated on my job and wanted to give everything in this game as I always did. But it's obviously nice when youngsters who weren't even around back then still talk to you about it today.”

The bandages turned you into an icon. Do heroes feel no pain?

“[laughs] You're just full of adrenaline in a game like that, you really don't feel any pain. It wasn't just any game, it was the DFB Cup final. Moreover, we were 2-0 behind at the time of my collision. In a situation like that, as a professional sportsman, you block everything out. But I was examined carefully. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt was meticulous, with eye tests, etc., until a concussion could be ruled out and it was clear that there was no risk in continuing to play. If the game had been 3-0 in our favour, I might have stayed in the dressing room at the break. But as it was, I was stitched up at half-time - I felt it, it hurt, because even though 'Mull' is a medical genius, he didn't have time to anaesthetise me. Today you would staple something like that. The biggest problem was the bleeding. It only got better in the second half. Before that, no bandage would hold, so the famous turban was the solution.”

Dieter Hoeneß, FC Bayern, 1982 DFB Cup final
A prime example of his tireless fighting spirit was in the 1982 DFB Cup final, when Dieter Hoeneß's Bayern team overcame a 2-0 deficit against Nürnberg to lift the trophy with a 4-2 win.

...and then, despite the head bandage, you scored a header without hesitation?

“As a footballer, you have to grit your teeth sometimes. And I wasn't dizzy or anything - not like Christoph Kramer, who had to ask the referee in 2014 whether it was the World Cup final. I generally had my brain waves measured regularly during my playing days. Otherwise, the price would have been too high.”

Now you are forever connected with FC Bayern and its history...

“[smiles] That sounds very nice! I’m proud that I was able to be a part of FC Bayern's history - after all, I scored a few more goals, some not entirely unimportant ones in the European Cup, for example, and my life as a whole was shaped at FC Bayern. Those eight years in Munich were a wonderful time, and I took a lot with me personally.”

Dieter Hoeneß, FC Bayern

When you think about the history of football - which iconic moments will stay with you forever?

“FC Bayern's European Cup final replay against Atletico Madrid in 1974. I was there live in the stadium for the first game when Katsche Schwarzenbeck scored his goal in the 120th minute. Unfortunately, I could only watch the second game on television. What Gerd Müller and my brother Uli did that evening will stay with me forever. Both scored two fantastic goals in a game that big - they made history.”

In February 1984, you scored five goals in 21 minutes against Braunschweig – coincidentally also with a thick bandage, this time around your left thigh.

“I actually wanted to be substituted at the break in that game. After a dead leg, my thigh was killing me. But we were only 1-0 up through Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “You have to stay on,” said Uli, general manager at the time, and the fact that I said I could hardly walk was then simply overruled after 'Mull' had given his blessing [laughs]. In the second half, balls just fell at my feet, if I'm honest. As a striker, there are games when you just can't go off. That was a record for a long time, but Robert Lewandowski took just nine minutes to score five goals against Wolfsburg in 2015.”

Dieter Hoeneß, FC Bayern
Dieter Hoeneß looks back fondly on his extremely successful time at FC Bayern. In his eight seasons with the club, the Ulm native won five league titles and three DFB Cups.

Where did you get this toughness? From childhood fights with your brother Uli?

“Although there was always competition between the two of us, it doesn't just have to do with Uli. We were brought up in such a way that you have to work hard for things. Our parents set an example for us in the butcher's shop. But of course, when you have a brother who is a year older and not exactly unambitious, you have to hold your own. I was the same size as him relatively early on. At that time, by the way, I was always in goal and went through the junior national teams until one day I played a second half as a forward and never went back between the posts. At some point, it got on my nerves. In goal, you can't do anything when you're 1-0 down, except prevent the deficit from growing. That's not my nature. I wanted to have more influence on the game and the result.”

It is always said that you were your brother Uli's first transfer to FC Bayern as a young general manager.

“It's basically true. Former president Wilhelm Neudecker told me at least once at a birthday party years later that he had told Uli to bring me to Bayern back then, when he hadn't even officially been general manager yet. I'm happy that it all worked out - and that Uli became a decisive man for FC Bayern.”

Dieter Hoeneß, Uli Hoeneß, FC Bayern, Transfer
In the summer of 1979, young Bayern general manager Uli Hoeneß brought his brother Dieter to Munich.

With your strength at headers, clubs from England must have taken notice of you. Were there ever any enquiries?

“I remember how we once won 5-1 against Nottingham Forest here in the Olympic Stadium during pre-season and how I received many enquiries from England after scoring three goals. There were also offers from Italy, and Jupp Heynckes wanted to bring me to Gladbach - but for me, there was only Bayern at the time. I felt right at home in Munich. We had to fight hard for our titles back then, a point or two decided the championship in the end - it was a wonderful time for me. I’ll never forget the 1986 season, with the heart-stopping final matchday competing with Bremen for the title. It was as if a huge champagne cork was popping!”

What do you wish for your new year of life?

“Health, especially with my family, is the most important thing. And I’d like to keep my optimism. Unfortunately, there are some grey clouds in today's world: the pandemic, war in Ukraine, energy crisis etc - you can't dismiss all these things and should try to find solutions within your means. But I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy. I think you can achieve more with such an attitude. And when I look at my children and my grandchildren, I'm always very proud of them and I just like to give them something of that.”

© Photos: Markus Burke, imago

The extended interview can be found in the current issue of the FC Bayern members' magazine ‘51’.


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