In a recent interview [via tz.de], Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness touched on a variety of subjects, but really honed in on the club’s newest signings. Bayern is notoriously reluctant to pay as much money as they have and especially as early. Despite the culture of thriftiness, the German Giants have already added French World Champions Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez for a total of €115. Here’s an exchange of Hoeness defending his newest record signing:
The record transfer fee of FC Bayern for Hernandez has been controversial. How did you gather that?
Hoeneß: I wondered why our 80 million was so critical. Recently, it was still said, with its cautious transfer policy, Bayern has no chance of penetrating into the phalanx of the English and Spanish top clubs and Paris Saint-Germain. Now we deliver, and people shout: How can you spend 80 million on a player? What would people have cried if we had bought Kylian Mbappé?
The previous record fee was €41.5 for Corentin Tolisso. Now it’s been doubled to secure Hernandez’s (another Frenchman) signature.
Both of Bayern’s new signings are French. Uli Hoeness shared his thoughts on the importance of a player’s nationality:
Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernández are other young players we’ve signed. In addition, Corentin Tolisso is virtually a newcomer due to his injury keeping him out most of this year. And other players could still arrive.
Pavard and Hernández are World Champions - and French. It has always been a goal of FC Bayern to provide the majority of the German national team. Is this satisfying that goal?
Hoeneß: The national team always has its most successful phases when FC Bayern supplies enough players. I think about the World Cup titles in 1974 and 2014, and in 1990 the core had a formative history with us. We’re about to deliver again. At the DFB in Frankfurt they should set up some candles, and pray that FC Bayern has enough players ready for success.
Uli kind of has a point. Just looking back at the 2014 World Cup squad, six of the starting eleven played for Bayern. Plus, Mario Götze, who scored the game-winning goal in the final against Argentina, was a Bayern player.
However, as Bayern President, Hoeness’ first concern should be signing world-class talent regardless of nationality. It’s nice if Bayern players can go on and bring international glory to Germany, but that’s out of Hoeness’ jurisdiction. Pavard and Hernandez may represent France, but they’ll give their all for their club first and foremost.
Hoeness had this to say about why Bayern is going on a spending spree now:
Is the largest investment program in the club’s history a reaction to the fear of being left behind internationally? Or do you mainly want to restore domestic dominance?
Hoeneß: Neither. We believe that the time has come for FC Bayern to put its hard-earned money on the market to bring back a new, young team to the pitch.
So Bayern isn’t doing anything in reaction to its competitors around the world. Rather, the top brass has decided it’s time to rejuvenate the squad and have stockpiled the funds necessary to do so.
That’s the kind of confidence I want to have in the club. All the talk of Bayern “falling behind” clubs in the EPL or teams like Paris Saint-Germain had us worried that we would eventually be left behind. But now we know that the Bavarians will be a younger, more energized force to be reckoned with for years to come.