Munich - It was the perfect conclusion to a magnificent career: After 1,011 matches, Jupp Heynckes’ Bundesliga career ended right where it had begun almost 50 years previously as a player, at his former love Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Even the man himself felt there was more than mere coincidence about the way the curtain came down on his glittering career. “It’s like a Steven Spielberg movie,” said the 68-year-old.
In recent weeks ‘Don Jupp’ has washed down his Bundesliga and Bundesliga plate, the long craved-for UEFA Champions League triumphs with several beer showers, having defined “a season which will go down in the record books”. After the DFB Cup final against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday, Germany will have seen the last of this coaching mastermind.
Heynckes did not do it alone, but his contribution to the record Bundesliga champions’ unprecedented season was considerable. Under his orders, Bayern played with a dominance they have never shown before. Only one issue still rankles a little - that he was unable to bring the curtain down on his career himself.
The appointment of star coach Pep Guardiola was not an easy moment for him, although he duly recognised that, in spite of all of his qualities and achievements, there was one thing he couldn't manage - to build and nurture the next generation of Bayern stars.