Heynckes leaves his options open

Veteran coach Jupp Heynckes bids farewell to Bayern after historic season but stops short of announcing retirement.

    Heynckes leaves his options open
    Heynckes said he needed a break after the glittering season in which he led Bayern to an unprecedented treble - the Bundesliga championship, the German Cup and the Champions League [GETTY]

    Treble-winning coach Jupp Heynckes has left his future open having said Tuesday he will walk away from Champions League-winners Bayern Munich, take a break and then weigh up his options.

    Bayern became the first German team to win the treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup with a 3-2 victory over VfB Stuttgart in Saturday's Cup final.

    Heynckes, 68, will be replaced by ex-Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, whose first training session is scheduled for June 26, but for now a much deserved rest beckons as his Bayern contract ends on June 30.

    "I will first of all take a holiday and I won't be coaching either abroad or at home from July 1. Then I'll see how it goes," he said during a 45 minute-long press conference packed with emotion.

    "I told my wife after we lost the 2012 Champions League final that I would fulfil my contract, but not continue after that.

    "I didn't take a holiday between last season and this one, in the last few weeks I have felt the wear and tear of my age.

    "Recovery takes longer. I felt I was at my limit.

    "The coach of FC Bayern has to take care of everything, you have to be a bit of a perfectionist and that is what I did."

    Unforgettable season

    After around 10,000 fans joined Sunday's celebrations in Munich as Bayern celebrated their treble triumph, Heynckes said he will never forget the season which saw Bayern break or equal 25 league records.

    "We were all very impressed by how many thousands of fans came out to celebrate with us on Sunday, despite the terrible weather, you don't forget something like that," he said with tears in his eyes.

    "I am very happy for my players, the club and all the people who are behind FC Bayern Munich."

    Having started his career as a 19-year-old striker with Borussia Moenchengladbach in 1963, Heynckes' career spans a half century in the Bundesliga as he finishes his third stint as Bayern coach.

    Having won the 1998 Champions League with Real Madrid, Heynckes confirmed the Spanish giants had approached him to replace Jose Mourinho, who returned to manage Chelsea on Monday.

    "After a season like this, it's only natural that other clubs would be interested in me joining them. Big clubs, including Real Madrid, with lots of money and nice weather," said Heynckes.

    After the most successful season in Bayern's history, Heynckes received plenty of deserved praise from the Bavarian giants' senior figures.

    "There couldn't be a better or more deserved way of going. Many thanks, Jupp," said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, while president Uli Hoeness added: "Jupp turned 25 players into friends. They followed him blindly, we can only be grateful."

    It was also revealed Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger had a minor operation on his right leg in Zurich on Monday and will take a 10-day break before resuming training.

    SOURCE: AFP


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