In May 1998 Josef Heynckes left Real Madrid quietly, with no renewal to his contract, despite having just won the Champions League in Amsterdam weeks earlier. For a club that only had a replica in their trophy room - and having failed to win it in 32 years – the German’s poor results in La Liga cost him his job. So this week a return to Madrid in a business capacity was poignant perhaps.
But the former German international would not have shown it and just set about unravelling Mourinho’s men - with great effect. Albeit the game was decided in the end on penalties Bayern were the better organised over 120 minutes.
As part of the German team that won the 1972 European Champions in Belgium, and then the World Cup in 1974, Josef Heynckes has been often considered a managerial journeyman over the years. Incorrectly it seems as his pedigree shows by his achievements as player and coach.
When in 1974 he was substituted in Hamburg by West Germany’s in world cup group match against Australia it was Bernd Holzenbein who replaced him. After which Heynckes never regained Helmut Schoen’s favour – as youth took over.
In the now infamous final at the Old Olympic Stadium, Heynckes watched his replacement Rainer Bonhof set a record on the day, when he became Germany’s youngest ever player, in a World Cup winning final. It signalled the end of an international career.
However a record of 220 goals in the Bundesliga still places him third in the top scorers list, behind Klaus Fischer and the imitable Gerd Muller. So no slouch in his time.
After the hectic night in Madrid, and in his third stint at Bayern, Jupp has a chance to make more amends in Munich by winning the trophy at the new Allianz Arena and equalling Jose Mourinho current achievement of winning the trophy with two different clubs. In a way, like in all Champions League stories, the sub plot to this victory is not inconsiderable, as Heynckes lost the domestic title.
Indeed high in the stands the club President Uli Hoeness would have been smiling having recognised publicly some time ago that firing Heynckes in 1991 was "his biggest mistake".
Those broken bridges will now be truly mended.
Alongside Hoeness, another Bayern stalwart and playing colleague of Jupp's in 1972, Paul Breitner, would have been also celebrating the win over his old Spanish club. If not also reliving the past during the penalties. having been given the same task at the opposite end of the Santiago Bernabeu in the 1982 World Cup final - scoring that consolation penalty in the 83rd minute against Italy.
Karl Heinz Rummenigge, another Bayern back room executive, struck the crossbar in the 1982 quarterfinal - having hit the most magnificent strike that left Peter Shilton stuck in his boots - only for the dreaded woodwork to deprive Germany of a chance to defeat England that July night. As part of Inter Milan "Kalle" has memories of leaving Real empty handed a number of times in European competition. For those reason it might have proved an enjoyable flight home to Munich in the early hours.
For Heynckes though it adds to a career has included spells at his alma mater Borussia Moenchengladbach, Benfica, Athletic Bilbao and most recently Schalke04 – where he reached the Inter Toto final. During his playing days from he won the World Cup, the European Championship, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and four Bundesliga titles in all - with 39 caps for his country and 14 goals.
Saturday May 19th may provide one more opportunity to add to the list.
Jupp Heynckes Post Match
“It was a magical night. We had big problems in the first 15 minutes, but afterwards my team took over and dominated the match. We played a sensational match and it is a special victory. The players wanted this final so badly. I am very happy for my players and for the fans. Manuel Neuer was fantastic, he saved two penalties and steered the third one over the bar with his eyes.”
“The team gave a great performance after the early deficit. Arjen Robben missed a big chance, but Madrid were the better team in the first 15 minutes. We improved afterwards and it was an outstanding display. We knew before that we would need one or two goals to be safe. It was a great performance at this stadium, if you take into account that Madrid won against Barcelona at the weekend.
We did well offensively before half-time, but we weren't well organised in defence. That is very dangerous against a Madrid side with several excellent attackers. I told my team during the break that we had to improve our performance in defence. We did really well in the second half, just as we had practiced.
“It is very important that we reached the Champions League final. We played against the Spanish champions-elect and, if you take the 120 minutes into account, we deserve to be in the final.”
“[David] Alaba, [Luiz] Gustavo and [Holger] Badstuber did a great job today so it's really bitter [that they will miss the final through suspension]. I talked to them in the dressing room and they were obviously very sad. But Chelsea are without four regulars as well, so both teams will be weakened. I don't know our team yet, but we have alternatives.”
“The most important thing is that we reached the final. That's outstanding, historic. Nothing else matters at the moment. I guess a glass of red wine is OK today.”
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