May 26, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT
It’s not entirely over for Jupp Heynckes yet. He still has one more match left at the helm of Bayern Munich, the final of the German league cup the DFB-Pokal.
With the Champions League title secure and a potential dynasty built at the club he loves, Heynckes is off to ride into the sunset.
But will the horse really go all the way over the horizon and into full blown retirement? Or will his horse eventually turn around, yearning for another go, another challenge?
It’s a question the likes of Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City, and other high profile clubs with vacancies would like to answer.
Is that what Heynckes would really want? Wouldn’t he be happy to ride off into the success he’s had all over Europe?
The question then begs, is he really retiring? Or is he just “retiring” to make room for Pep Guardiola? If he’s indeed retiring (like he said multiple times before), then why would he come back?
Heynckes has won a huge number of awards during his career. He’s only the fourth manager in history to win the Champions League with two different clubs. He’s won seven Bundesliga championships between his player and managerial career. The German even has a World Cup to his name, as a player with West Germany in 1974. Overall, Heynckes has managed a whopping 10 clubs: 4 in the Bundesliga, 3 in the Spanish Primera Division, Benfica, and a club from the Canary Islands.
Then again, Heynckes has been the recipient of a ridiculous number of seriously raw deals over the course of his tenures. Despite winning the Champions League with Real Madrid in 1997-1998 to end a 31 year drought, he was forced out due to a poor domestic season (they finished 4th). His first stint with Bayern Munich in the early 90’s, his contract was terminated due to a major player selloff after two straight Bundesliga titles, something the then chairman Uli Hoeness described as his “worst mistake ever.”
And now, if he is “retiring” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) rather than retiring, it would be nothing new to Heynckes, and he could most likely be lured to what he would consider a new and significant challenge. I’m sure a number of high profile clubs would be very, very interested. After all, he’s not only accomplished one of the greatest seasons European soccer has seen, but also has set that club up perfectly for future success.
I’m sure he’d love to finish now, and not face any more scrutiny, something that’s gotten the best of his job security over the years.
But sometimes, the fire just burns.
Whatever happens, what we do know for certain is Heynckes has set the bar really, really high for Guardiola.
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