In an interview with Abendzeitung (via SportBild) Bayern Munich club president Uli Hoeness spoke on a range of topics including Bayern Munich’s Germany contingent headed to the World Cup, new manager Niko Kovac, and Manuel Neuer, among other things.
On Bayern’s Germany septet
All 7️⃣ #FCBayern stars are on the plane to Russia with @DFB_Team_EN ✈️#MiaSanMia #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/orIOnXS6gt— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) June 4, 2018
All seven Bayern players (Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Müller, Sebastian Rudy, Niklas Süle, and Manuel Neuer) that were on Joachim Löw’s provisional Germany squad for the World Cup have made the final cut. Not surprisingly, Bayern are the most represented club in Die Mannschaft’s World Cup squad, and Hoeness believes that’s a staple for success on the world’s biggest stage:
Without Bayern Munich’s players they won’t be world champion. If you want to succeed, they will make a decisive contribution. Germany is definitely one of the three or four teams again that are capable of winning the World Cup. Jogi Löw thus far has always succeeded in turning a group of individualists into a fantastic team over the course of the tournament. I trust him to do that this time as well.
Hoeness also made sure to give Löw plenty of credit for the way he’s able to manage a squad full of world class talents and connect with the squad on a human level:
He has played an immense part in the major successes of the national team, with his quiet, human way of interacting with the boys. I really like how he does it. And that’s also his secret for how successful he is.
On Manuel Neuer
Speaking on the keeper that missed virtually all of Bayern’s season, Hoeness is grateful to see Neuer fit on time for the World Cup and believes he’ll be at his best despite missing so much time due to his troubling metatarsal injury:
I am convinced: if Manuel stays healthy now, he will deliver his performances. Manuel, of course, has a towering personality, that is well-suited both to Bayern Munich and the national team. I'm happy for Manuel, that he's doing well and wish that he stays healthy. Everything else will come from him.
On Niko Kovac, Thomas Tuchel, and Zidane
It’s no secret that both Thomas Tuchel and Niko Kovac were the front-runners to succeed Jupp Heynckes as Bayern’s new manager, but Hoeness and company were perhaps a bit too late on pulling the trigger for Tuchel. Despite the fact that Bayern were clearly interested in tucehl, Hoeness believes that Kovac is the right man for the job and is excited for his tenure to begin:
Despite all the doom and gloom and the wise guys who wanted to talk us into a Thomas Tuchel or whoever as their ideal coach [...] I'm the happiest person in the world. I'm convinced that we have a coach in [Niko Kovac] who we're going to have a lot of fun with.
Hoeness also made a point of lauding Zinedine Zidane, who just announced last week that he was stepping down as manager of Real Madrid after securing the club’s third consecutive Champions League title:
There you see how great a man he is, resigning shortly after the day of his greatest triumph. But only someone for whom (a) money is no longer the most important thing and who (b) has already won everything can do something like that.