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Uli Hoeness almost signed Jürgen Klopp before Dortmund

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Apparently, we got the wrong Jürgen. Bayern’s president also discussed Dortmund’s defeat by Tottenham and the Champions League.

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 08: Jurgen Klopp, trainer of Dortmund and Jurgen Klinsmann, trainer of Bayern during the press conference after the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena on February 8, 2009 in Munich, Germany.
Klopp and Klinsmann after a match between Bayern and Dortmund, February 8, 2009.
Photo by Stuart Franklin/DFL via Getty Images

In an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness reflected on the club’s previous rivalry with now-Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp.

Hoeneß revealed that while Klopp was the head coach at Mainz (2001-2008), they almost reached an agreement for him to come to Bavaria.

Several years ago, we once had already agreed to terms of collaborating, before we signed Jürgen Klinsmann.

Imagine if Bayern had signed Klopp over Klinsmann: Dortmund may not have won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, Bayern may have had to play Real Madrid at Wembley, and the U.S. Men’s National Team may have been even worse than before!

When asked whether Bayern Munich might someday sign Klopp, whose contract at Liverpool runs out in 2022, Hoeness deflected, saying he was impressed with the current state of the team — and its coach, Niko Kovac:

We’re not thinking about that today. We have a coach with whom we are very satisfied. The team is developing very well at the moment. We live in the here and now, and that’s where we should leave things.

Looking towards BVB, Hoeness dismissed the idea of “Schadenfreude” and thinks it wise not to not rub the bad run of form in the face of Lucien Favre’s men.

Borussia Dortmund was smart enough never to talk about Bayern Munich in the past few months. And we want to keep it that way vice versa... We found it very pleasant that Borussia Dortmund didn’t talk about us in the past weeks and months when we were not so good. If we’re smart, we’ll keep it that way too now.

Now the tasks at hand include a major match against Liverpool next Tuesday. An interesting story line came out of the draw for the round of 16 when the three German teams (Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04) drew three English teams (Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City). Hoeness agrees that it makes for an interesting story, but with a game against Augsburg on the horizon, Bayern will not get ahead of themselves.

I think it’s an appealing story. You can indeed cite it as a comparison of where German soccer stands in comparison to the Premier League...We’re having a good run at the moment. We have to keep calm now and can’t become arrogant, but instead we have to address our tasks one after another.