On Monday, Bayern Munich’s team manager Kathleen Krüger was awarded the Bavarian Oder of Merit to recognize the work she has done with the club over the past decade. She been famously dubbed “team mom” of Bayern Munich and returned to her role this past January after a period of maternity leave due to the birth of her baby boy over the summer. A lot of her responsibilities, especially during the 2019/20, treble-winning season were well documented in the “FC Bayern — Behind the Legend” documentary on Amazon Prime and it has been quite evident that Krüger and her efforts have been very much appreciated by the team, players and staff alike.
The Bavarian Order of Merit is regarded as one of the most exclusive honors from the Bavarian free state and is reserved for individuals that display exemplary service to the people and state of Bavaria. At any given time, there can only be 2,000 living holders of the honor, and current Germany and former Bayern manager Hansi Flick was also honored on Monday. Manuel Neuer had also received the honor last September. Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger had both previously received the award at different times (2019, 2018).
In a statement about Krüger’s achievement on Bayern’s official website, the Bavarian State Chancellery was quoted as saying, “Kathleen Krüger impressively demonstrates that women have now become indispensable in supposedly male-dominated areas of society. She is thus a true role model.” A former footballer herself for the Bayern Munich Frauen, Krüger is a beacon of influence and motivation for women in sport everywhere, serving as the Bundesliga’s only female team manager. She’s widely regarded as one of the league’s most powerful women.
In addition to being responsible for organizing the team’s hotels, buses, travels, pre-match preparations and procedures on match days, Krüger also helped manager Julian Nagelsmann enjoy the moment when Bayern thrashed RB Salzburg 7-1 in the Champions League round of 16 second leg at the Allianz Arena. Nagelsmann wears his heart on his sleeve on the touchline from time to time, and after going 5-0 up inside of 54 minutes against Salzburg, he recalled Krüger helping him be able to sit back and enjoy the moments instead of pacing left and right in his technical area. “It’s not so often pure enjoyment for me, I have to calm down a bit. At some point Kathleen said: ‘Sit down, lean back and enjoy it.’ That’s not always easy for me. But she wasn’t wrong,” he had said after the match (Bild).