The records just keep on tumbling for Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes. In 2013, he became the first German coach and the first coach of a German team to win the treble of Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League. Now he has become the first person in history to pass 500 Bundesliga victories after Bayern beat Augsburg on Matchday 12.
That 3-0 victory was the 72-year-old’s 1016th match as a player or coach in the Bundesliga, and goals from Arturo Vidal and Robert Lewandowski (2) eased the tactician to that magic 500-mark for wins. It was the 326th time he has taken all three points as a coach in the Bundesliga from 647 attempts – a record of just over a win every other game in charge of Bayern, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Eintracht Frankfurt, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen.
When asked about the landmark, the ever-modest tactician said, "I’m surprised by it because I don’t tend to concern myself with numbers and statistics. I can’t say it means nothing to me. It’s a great number to reach, but I simply acknowledge it."
Bayern’s stand-in captain Arjen Robben found the achievement somewhat more remarkable, commenting that it was "really impressive. Just amazing." The club’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic added, "He’s an outstanding coach, a dream to work with and a huge bonus for FC Bayern."
Heynckes’ time as a player in the Bundesliga with Gladbach and Hannover also cannot be forgotten. His record-breaking story began on 14 August 1965, the Bundesliga’s third season, when he made his debut as a 20-year-old for Gladbach at Borussia Neunkirchen. One week later he chalked up the first of those hitherto 500 victories, as well as his first goals, when he bagged a brace in a 5-0 defeat of Tasmania Berlin.
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The goals, and victories, kept on coming for Heynckes during his playing career. His 13-year stint as a player came to an end in 1978 with victory no.174 and a match that went down in history. Heynckes scored five as Gladbach beat Borussia Dortmund 12-0 in the Bundesliga’s biggest-ever win, with the 1974 FIFA World Cup winner ending his career on 220 top-flight goals – third on the league’s all-time list.
A year after his retirement spent as Gladbach’s assistant coach under Udo Lattek, Heynckes took charge of his first Bundesliga match as a coach in the club’s 1-1 draw with Schalke in August 1979. At the time the youngest coach in the league’s history, the 34-year-old Heynckes took four matches to record his first victory in the dugout. Of course, it had to come against the club where he would one day achieve his greatest feat as a coach: Bayern Munich.
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Now in his fourth spell in charge of the Bavarians – another Bundesliga record – Heynckes has continued where he left off after winning the treble in 2013. Winning all five of his league games since returning following the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti, the seven-time Bundesliga champion as a player and coach is now on a 30-match unbeaten run in the top flight, which equals his own personal record set between January 2007 and February 2010.
Currently the only person in history alongside Otto Rehhagel to feature in 1000 Bundesliga matches as a player or coach, Heynckes can scoop the all-time record if he sees out the season as planned with Bayern. Rehhagel currently leads the way with 1033 matches, leaving Heynckes just 18 games from another piece of Bundesliga history.