In a recent interview with the DFL Magazine (captured by AZ), Jupp Heynckes gave high praise to Hansi Flick and the quartet of veteran Bayern Munich leaders Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich, Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski. The former Bayern manager won the treble back in 2013 and some of the payers that were in the squad at the time are still at the club, including Müller and Neuer.
Heynckes had exceptionally high praise for Thomas Muller. He said that alongside Gerd Müller, the Raumdeuter is one of “the most extraordinary players in the history of German football.” He continued by saying, “He has again now been showing what has always made him stand out: being a team player, diligent, and an unusually strong runner.”
His performances this season under Hansi Flick certainly bear out Heynckes’ recognition of his work rate and team-first mentality. His record-setting 21 assists in the Bundesliga this season are a testament to his work rate, especially considering he was primarily used as a sub in the beginning stages of the campaign when Niko Kovac was still manager.
Heynckes also said that Kimmich is “the epitome of a professional footballer, who also stands for what makes FC Bayern what it is.” Kimmich, as Heynckes describes him, is someone for whom “football is his hobby, his job, his lifeblood. At the same time, he has developed as a person.”
Without a doubt, Kimmich is certainly in contention to be a future captain for Bayern. He’s shown so much growth since joining the club back in 2015. Speaking of current captain, Maneul Neuer, Heynckes recognized the solid form he exhibited this season: “He is, at the moment, the best and one of the strongest in this history of football.”
Lewandowski had the season of his career, leading the goals tally in every competition he was involved in: Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and the Champions League. He fell just short of Gerd Müller’s single-season record of 40 goals in the Bundesliga, but Heynckes said he feels the Polish international also started to play more as a team player and perhaps less selfishly: “Not only his tally of goals was world-class, but also how he worked as a team player. If a world footballer is chosen, there is only one who deserved it in 2020: Robert Lewandowski.”
As for Flick, Heynckes said that the current Bayern manager has impressed him greatly with his “team and individual leadership, empathy, credibility, and communication.” Flick does not act overbearing “because he is the key sporting official. He is not the boss on the basis of his position, but rather on the basis of his personality.”