Jupp Heynckes' Bayern Munich Exit Must Not Be Wasted by European Clubs
Jupp Heynckes' retirement from football at the end of the current Bundesliga season has never been questioned and the confirmation of his departure from the game comes as little surprise (BBC Sport).
Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola will succeed the 68-year-old at the helm of the Allianz Arena team for next season, but it would be a criminal waste of talent and experience to allow the veteran coach to leave the game.
Heynckes has been the driving force in Bayern's success this season, regaining the title from Borussia Dortmund several weeks ago after establishing a 20-point lead over Jurgen Klopp's side.
He has also guided the team to another German Cup final with the help of a 6-1 drubbing of Wolfsburg in the semifinals.
His crowning glory, however, has been in European competition with Barcelona among those vanquished by Bayern on their way to their third Champions League final in four years, this time against Dortmund at Wembley on May 25.
Heynckes has been the leading light as German football began to forge itself as the dominant force across the continent.
It is appropriate that Heynckes will sign off from the Bundesliga with Saturday's trip to Monchengladbach, the team he graced during its glory years in the 1970s when they won four German titles and the 1975 UEFA Cup.
"If I was 15 years younger I would seriously think about a job abroad but I am not the youngest any more.
"Clubs want to do a generation change and you cannot really do it with a 68-year-old."
It is true that Heynckes inherited a good squad when he took over from Louis van Gaal at Bayern for a third spell in charge in 2011.
But his first season was to end in despondency as Dortmund claimed a second successive Bundesliga title, while Chelsea won the Champions League in Bayern's own stadium in a penalty shootout a year ago.
Heynckes, though, refused to be bowed by those crushing disappointments. He took Bayern to a phenomenal start to the Bundesliga campaign, winning their first eight league matches to send out a message of intent to other clubs.
Bayern's end to the campaign has been even more impressive with the team on a run of 14 successive league wins, which was only ended by a 1-1 draw at Dortmund on May 4.
It has been a sad time for football recently with Sir Alex Ferguson also announcing his retirement as Manchester United last week at the age of 71.
The Old Trafford legend will, of course, still be on the club's board and available for any assistance new boss David Moyes requires.
Heynckes does not envisage a future for himself outside of Germany, but also concedes clubs are now looking at a new generation.
But with his wealth of experience from three stints in charge at Bayern, plus a Champions League triumph with Real Madrid, a progressive club with a young coach must be looking at Heynckes as a stepping stone to the future.
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