Outgoing manager Jupp Heynckes said Bayern Munich were ready to launch a ‘new era’ of European success under his successor Pep Guardiola after victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final.
Heynckes will step down at the end of the season, having become only the fourth coach to win the trophy with two different clubs after Arjen Robben snatched a 2-1 victory at Wembley Stadium on Saturday with a last-gasp 89th-minute winner.
Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring on the hour mark, only to see Ilkay Gundogan equalise from the penalty spot a few minutes later. However, Robben pounced late on to secure Bayern’s fifth European title.
With Heynckes having led Bayern to a nigh-on flawless campaign in this season’s Bundesliga, in which the Bavarians dropped only 11 points, Guardiola’s chances of improving the team seem almost impossible.
It has raised hopes among supporters that the club can establish a period of success to rival their three consecutive European Cup triumphs of the mid-1970s.
Bayern have already secured the services of Dortmund playmaker Mario Goetze for next season and Heynckes strongly hinted that his teammate, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, was also close to agreeing a move.
“My successor will of course be able to take over a perfectly functioning team,” said Heynckes. “We know Mario Goetze will be joining and I don’t think Lewandowski will be hanging about too much either, and then of course you’ve got two top attackers as well.
“All the players we bought have been bulls-eye successes. Of course, Bayern will have to prove they can continue to achieve these things. But it’s quite possible that a new era in Europe may be beginning under FC Bayern.”
Dortmund will bounce back, vows Klopp
Meanwhile, Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said his team will bounce back from their Champions League final defeat to Bayern — even with the Bavarian giants set to take two of his best players.
With his season now over, Klopp admits he has a tough few months ahead as he rebuilds his squad with the new Bundesliga season starting on August 9.
Klopp has vowed to steer Dortmund back for a second crack at the European title.
“I feel a proudness comes up in me, but also a certain sadness,” said the 45-year-old. “It was a great season for my team and a really, really good match.
“Perhaps it was the best match against Bayern in this season’s Champions League and you know who they’ve played. Now we have to go on holiday and buy some players, because other teams want ours and we must start again.
“We deserved to be in the final, we showed that in the match. Our fans were great, the atmosphere was great. Only the result is not. I told the players we will come back, maybe not to Wembley, but we’ll try to come back to another final.”
Previous 5 winners
2008: Man United
2010: Inter Milan
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2013.
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