Guardiola’s place in Bayern coaching pantheon

9 May

Bayern München clinched their 26th Bundesliga title on Saturday, their fourth in a row.

Having taken the title in record time on his 2013/14 bow at the club, Josep Guardiola will leave for Manchester City in the summer having won the league in all three of his Bundesliga seasons, playing his part in coaching the club to an unprecedented fourth straight German championship.

The 45-year-old has overseen some dramatic successes since his arrival in 2013, but as discovers, he was not able to match the heights scaled by some of Bayern’s all-time coaching greats.

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Udo Lattek in his underpants in 1983

Udo Lattek
6 Bundesliga titles
3 German Cups
1 European Cup

“I came from nothing; I have football to thank for everything,” said Lattek, who passed away in January 2015. The most decorated coach in the history of Bayern – and the Bundesliga – he built the team which won the European Champion Clubs’ Cup three times between 1974 and 1976 (although he had moved on by the time of the second and third successes), and was the first coach to top the Bundesliga three times in a row (1972 until 1974) – a feat he repeated on his return to the club in 1983. Lattek famously celebrated his final Bayern title by flinging his trousers into the crowd; Guardiola has yet to show the world his underpants, though he did tear his trousers while celebrating a goal in Bayern’s 6-1 success against Porto last season.

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Hitzfeld – a Champions League winner in 2001

Ottmar Hitzfeld
5 Bundesliga titles
3 German Cups
1 European Cup
1 European/South American Cup

Hitzfeld first joined Bayern in 1998 after a successful spell at Borussia Dortmund, and led the club to the league title in his first three seasons – an achievement Guardiola has matched. Hitzfeld oversaw some spectacular campaigns, most notably the 2000/01 one, when Patrik Andersson secured Bayern the title with the last kick of the season. However, unlike Lattek, he was never a man to get carried away. “I am very careful with my feelings,” he said. “I don’t want to celebrate too early and be disappointed later.” Having won four titles in his first spell as coach, Hitzfeld returned – initially as a caretaker – in 2007, winning a domestic double the following season.

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Jupp Heynckes with his biggest prize of 2013

Jupp Heynckes
3 Bundesliga titles
1 German Cup

1 European Cup
While his name will forever be linked with the clubs’ treble-winning campaign in 2012/13, Heynckes first took charge of Bayern in the late 1980s, guiding the club to Bundesliga glory in 1989 and 1990. Nicknamed ‘Osram’ (after a brand of lightbulb) for his tendency to go red in the face at times of stress, Heynckes was sacked a year later, a decision long-time general manager and former club president Uli Hoeness once labelled “the biggest mistake of my career”. Heynckes returned to Bayern for a five-match spell after Jürgen Klinsmann was dismissed in 2009, only to take the reins a third time in 2011. That treble success proved to be his last act as a coach. “I have no intention of coaching again,” he said in 2013. “I went out on a high.”

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Guardiola’s been frustrated in Europe

Josep Guardiola
3 Bundesliga titles
1 German Cup (also in 2016 final)
1 UEFA Super Cup
1 FIFA Club World Cup

Guardiola’s Bayern were only briefly challenged by Borussia Dortmund this season in their three title successes, but earlier this week completed a hat-trick of UEFA Champions League semi-final exits under the former Barcelona coach. “I know which club I am at – it isn’t enough to win the Bundesliga and the cup,” Guardiola said last season. “Only a treble is enough for a club like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern.”

Felix Magath
2 Bundesliga titles
2 German Cups

Under Magath, Bayern completed domestic doubles in 2005 and 2006.


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