Jupp heynckes looks to philipp lahm as if the 68-year-old FC bayern coach has sprung from a fountain of youth. "You don't notice his age with his esprit on the pitch, which is impressive. He has a very rough experience. He is very human, very meticulous – he works as if he were 40", said the captain of the german champion full of respect for his boss, who is going into his third champions league final in good spirits.
A year ago, after losing the "finale dahoam against FC chelsea, after three bitter second bursts, heynckes looked to many only old and used up, he was considered a discontinued model. Twelve months later, everything is different again: heynckes has further developed FC bayern and himself. And the expected transition into coaching retirement after the two finals in london against borussia dortmund and a week later in berlin against vfb stuttgart for the DFB cup is now suddenly considered by many critics of yesteryear to be premature. Heynckes, however, will hardly be swayed.
National player thomas muller admires his boss "for his extreme stamina". That was already apparent to the oldest championship coach in 50 years of bundesliga coaching last summer, when the munich team picked itself up to finally win trophies again after its second titleless season in a row. "On the first day after his vacation, he gave the impression that he wanted to go higher. Last year we were second three times, so you know where he wants to go, said muller. Championship trophy, DFB cup – heynckes wants it all in the end. "We have the hunger", he said.
Heynckes still has a final score to settle with BVB coach jurgen klopp. The 2:5 in the cup final in 2012 was a real "wad", as they say in bavaria. At wembley stadium is for "don jupp" the chance for revenge has come. Even if the game of the year is not a coaching duel for him. "Why against jurgen?", heynckes asked irritatedly. "The relationship with jurgen klopp is good", he assured.
Age-wise view of the childish bickering
That the controlled heynckes could clash with the impulsive klopp on the sidelines in front of the eyes of the fubball world at wembley stadium on saturday night is almost unimaginable – but not because of the dortmund coach. When klopp youngst fought a verbal duel with bavaria's sporting director matthias sammer on the sidelines during the 1:1 league duel, heynckes stood a few meters away and looked on age-wise at the childish bickering of the two heibspurs.
Heynckes reduces comparison with klopp purely to sporting aspects. Bayern and dortmund are "teams that bear the signature of their coaches". He will meticulously anticipate and tactically prepare for all possible twists and turns in the finale. "Every coach has a plan, a route to follow", emphasized heynckes. But he also knows the limits of the coach's influence: "ultimately, the decisive factor is how the players implement this on the pitch."
Heynckes has "further developed" the bayern game, said captain lahm. The 68-year-old would have been only the third coach to win the champions league with two clubs, alongside ottmar hitzfeld (dortmund 1997, bayern 2001) and jose mourinho (FC porto 2004, inter milan 2010). In 1998 he had succeeded with real madrid, also with the "royals was afterwards ubrigens conclusion.
Heynckes enjoys the new spate of fame, but is also modest about it: "I'm responsible for the whole thing, but I have a super team around me. Many stand for success, he said, referring to his assistants, coaches, physios and especially the players. On the home stretch of his career, everything just seems to fit. After the semifinal triumph in barcelona, heynckes even described the dream season with bayern in unusually philosophical terms: "it was like a river where the water runs down on its own."