In a storied career that has spanned 50 years and taken him to Mönchengladbach and back via the Iberian peninsula, Jupp Heynckes has capped it all with tremendous success, this year leading Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga title and perhaps more. With an all-German Champions League final set to hit Wembley at the end of May, Heynckes has previously stated his desire to retire—although that might not be the case.
Following comments made in his press conference after his FCB side threw aside Barcelona in a 3-0 victory (an astonishing 7-0 on aggregate over two legs), Heynckes refused to confirm or deny that his retirement would be just that, or simply a ruse before moving on to another team. Translated by The Guardian, Heynckes said:
"On May 9th I will be 68 years old. I have been in the world of football for 50 years, both as a player and a coach. I think that at some point you need to decide that you have had enough time."
While these comments certainly point towards sticking with the hand he's been dealt, there are no certainties that Heynckes won't try and twist once more. While the German, who will be looking for a second Champions League victory as a manager on May 25 (he first won back in 1998 with Real Madrid), there are no guarantees that his thirst for silverware and success has truly been quenched.
Indeed, one motive would be to move to another European titan; reports that Heynckes' decision to leave Bayern at the season's end was not entirely voluntary might suggest vengeance could be on his mind.
With his legacy at the Allianz Arena potentially cut shorter than he would like, being traded in for a younger model (albeit as one as lauded as Pep Guardiola) might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
These opportunities might all depend on whether Heynckes can lock up the Champions League trophy, of course; his pedigree will be sorely tested following last year's penalty shootout heartbreak against eventual champions Chelsea. In a match where his team dominated on the stat sheet but lacked the bottle to finish the job, Heynckes' men weren't necessarily outplayed physically, but defeated through other means.
Still, a historic treble looms if the heavily favoured Bayern can defeat VfB Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal Final on June 1 on top of triumphing in London the previous weekend. That, surely, would put his legacy beyond doubt—as the man Bayern might well regret saying goodbye to.
Should Jupp retire a Bayern legend, or is it worth one more throw of the dice?
Over to you—feel free to lend me your thoughts via a comment, or alternatively by sending me a tweet—@callumlarr.
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