Munich - Ottmar Hitzfeld was the first coach to steer FC Bayern München to the top of the European pile in the UEFA Champions League era, back in 2001.

The current Swiss national team supremo spoke in interview about his former club's chances of becoming the first side ever to successfully defend their Champions League title, the current situation in the Bundesliga and his own final targets with Switzerland.

Question: Ottmar Hitzfeld, FC Bayern München are continuing to set new records left, right and centre. Will they manage to overcome the Champions League curse of no club ever having managed to defend the title?

Ottmar Hitzfeld: Well, the odds have never been as good as they are this time. Bayern have not only a world-class first team, the term applies to their whole squad. Nobody else can absorb the absence of four or five key players without any drop-off in quality. That's something new in world football and it speaks volumes for Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola.

Question: Can you see FC Bayern going on to dominate an entire era, like Real Madrid back in the 1950s or, rather more recently, FC Barcelona?

Hitzfeld: I predicted that a year ago - Spanish football is going to be supplanted at the top of the world game by Bayern and Borussia Dortmund.

Question: Down the years in the Bundesliga, there has often been one or other club capable of posing a sustained challenge to Bayern at the top. Can Dortmund fill that role over the duration?

Hitzfeld: I'm confident Borussia Dortmund will establish themselves as the second force in the German game longer-term. They have that potential. A few setbacks are par for the course, especially with so many players out injured.

Question: You're said to have voted for Franck Ribéry as World Footballer of the Year. Bayern president Uli Hoeneß reckons it will be an “absolute disgrace” if anyone else wins the award. Would you agree with that?

Hitzfeld: In light of everything Bayern have won, Ribéry thoroughly deserves it. Even though Cristiano Ronaldo has consistently finished second behind Lionel Messi in recent years, which has been a marginal call in itself sometimes. But Ronaldo hasn't enjoyed the same title success, and Ribéry has become synonymous with Bayern München - incredibly strong, a real team player and exemplary on and off the pitch.

Question: What will be the reaction in Switzerland if they win the World Cup?

Hitzfeld: You can always dream, but winning the tournament's nigh-on impossible for our team. We're optimistic nonetheless about our chances of making the last 16 and, with a bit of luck, maybe even the quarter-finals. Getting through to the World Cup finals is always quite an achievement in itself for Switzerland.

Question: You'll be stepping down as national team coach after the finals in Brazil. What could tempt you to stay on longer in football - or do you intend to retire altogether, like Jupp Heynckes?

Hitzfeld: If I wanted to keep coaching, I'd have done so with Switzerland. They were very disappointed when I said I'd be calling it a day. I still work for Sky and have my commercial partners, so I'm not going to get bored.

Question: Are you sure this is an irrevocable decision?

Hitzfeld: Yes. I'm not far short of 65, which has been a major factor in it. You need to think about your health and your family. My wife and son have always had to shoulder some of the burden, so it's time for a bit less stress. There's life after football, although it's still going to be a big part of mine - only in a different way.