A few weeks ahead of his 65th birthday, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge did an interview with club magazine, 51. In the interview, Rummenigge described what winning the treble this season has felt like, the success of Hansi Flick, and Bayern getting the respect they deserve across Europe, among other topics (FCBayern.com).
All things considered, Bayern came a long way from that fateful night in November after losing to Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1. They were seven points adrift the top of table when Hansi Flick took charge, but the rest was history from that point onward. Rummenigge said the feeling is still surreal, but could best be described by the Fiction Factory song, “Feels Like Heaven”:
We’ve had a season where the song ‘Feels like Heaven’ would be appropriate. We were seventh in the Bundesliga in November but since Hansi Flick took over it’s been a non-stop success story. I won’t make the mistake now of saying: We have to win the treble again straightaway. Only Real Madrid have succeeded in retaining the Champions League – you can see how difficult it is. Nevertheless, one thing is certain: we have a great team with great coaching staff under Hansi Flick and we’re in brilliant shape for the future. I’m convinced we’ll continue to have success with this team.
Flick’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed in the footballing world. Everyone’s seen how well he’s done since taking charge of this Bayern side and many elite clubs have shown interest in offering him managerial jobs. To add to that, a lot of players in Bayern’s squad have received interest from Europe’s top clubs for how well they’v played under Flick. Despite the increased interest in Flick and Bayern’s players from other clubs, Rummenigge said he’s remaining relaxed with keeping hold of their talent:
Yes, we can just about manage a weary smile. As long as the relevant contract isn’t about to expire, we call the shots. And who would want to leave the reigning Champions League holders? FC Bayern is a very good club. Players all over the world know that.
During Bayern’s Champions League title celebrations, Rummenigge had a moment with Flick where the two exchanged some words together. Rummenigge revealed the simple, yet meaningful words he said in Flick’s ear during the moment of embrace:
Just two words: Thank you! We all know who the main man is. This coach played an absolutely crucial role – and he’s always so modest. After we won the final he’d already put distance between himself and the stage, and I almost didn’t find him. There are a lot of people who push their way to the front without contributing much to making things happen. Hansi makes it happen and then prefers to remain back stage.
The collective eyes of the world were fixated on the Bundesliga as one of the world’s first major sporting leagues to return to action during the coronavirus pandemic. The first Saturday back to action saw record numbers of television viewership for the league in different parts of the globe and it reeled in viewers that would otherwise not watch the Bundesliga and/or Bayern Munich. Bayern won every single match they played since matches resumed, and showed the world that they are a force to be reckoned with amongst Europe’s elite en route to another historic treble for the club.
Now, Rummenigge says, the world sees how Bayern “plays football with love” and it truly resonates with people watching around the world:
To be honest, we have to say we used to keep looking at Spain when Real Madrid and Barcelona were setting the standards worldwide. Then everything changed step-by-step. We were in the Champions League final four times in ten years – and this time you have to say that nearly everybody in football does not begrudge FC Bayern winning, because we’ve been the best team this season. The world of football has always respected us for our physique, our mentality – but now it’s different. Because this team plays football with love. They celebrate football with devotion. That’s in their DNA, that’s an inherent part of this team – and it goes down well with people.