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Former Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld is #BrazzoIn, backs Sadio Mané for glory

The legendary Bayern manager loves his former player turned sporting director to bits.


Former Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld, in a recent interview with Abendzeitung, expressed his views on Hasan Salihamidzic’s work in the front office.

The 73-year-old, who coached Bayern to the 2001 Champions League victory had nothing but praise for his former player as he lauded him for signing Sadio Mané from Liverpool. He believes that Mané is Brazzo’s biggest transfer coup and expressed his admiration for Brazzo, calling him a team player who is very positive. Hitzfeld said he feels that Brazzo maintains his positive charisma, even now as the sporting director.

“He is very meticulous, consistent, reliable and trustworthy. If Hasan says something, you can count on it. He treats people with respect, you can always feel his human qualities.”

“I follow his path very closely and am convinced of his abilities. Hasan knows the football business, he grew up in it as a player. Football is his life. I always keep my fingers crossed for him because I really appreciate him as a person.”

“It takes time to get used to a new role. This is completely normal. I think he has made a very positive development”, added the former coach, affirming his trust in Brazzo.

On Oliver Kahn and Brazzo’s collaboration, “they know each other well and trust each other. You can speak very differently internally in private than in public, which is a great advantage”, he said, asserting his confidence in the duo.

On Brazzo’s impending contract expiration and further extension, Hitzfeld believes that the ball is in Bayern’s court. “I see the club with Salihamidzic, Kahn and President Herbert Hainer in a very good position for the future. I am convinced that this will work together for a long time.”, he claimed.

He then went on to express that Uli Hoeness’ trust in the sporting director is pivotal. “Uli was always convinced of Hasan and always supported him. This is of course extremely important: that you can trust people and discuss things with them - without anything leaking out.”

On whether Bayern can bring a treble in the coming years, like they did under Hansi Flick, Hitzfeld comments on its possibility, while acknowledging that such a feat isn’t easy. “A treble is something incredibly rare. If FC Bayern can do that again within the next few years, it would be outstanding.”

The former Champions League winner also reflected on the Premier League’s lead over the Bundesliga in the matters of money. “The TV income is much higher, and there are a number of investors. In this respect, you always have to acknowledge what FC Bayern achieves with fewer resources in order to keep up with the international top”, he stated, praising Bayern.

He acknowledged Mané’s qualities and accomplishments, citing his move as a “top transfer”. Hitzfeld went on to express that Mané’s commitment is of high value at Bayern.

“Mané is an asset to the Bundesliga. Bayern drew the right conclusions from last season and significantly strengthened their squad. Now of course you have to see what happens to Robert Lewandowski. If Lewandowski were to stay, it would not be so easy for the coaching staff to find a position for Mané either. Bayern is very well occupied up front. In general, of course, it’s a great transfer, a big name”, he stated.

When asked on whether manager Nagelsmann can integrate Lewandowski back into the team after his statements, Hitzfeld stated that it would work only if Lewandowski could score goals for the team. “Ultimately, the players all want to be successful. But the whole environment at Bayern is of course confused by Lewandowski’s actions.”. He then offered his expertise on such a situation of a player wanting to leave at any cost, “My point of view was and is: If a player wants to leave, then he should go.”

Interested in some more Brazzo related discussion? Why not check out the latest episode of our podcast? We had a three-person panel discuss Brazzo’s entire track record so far, and whether he deserves a contract extension. Listen to it below or at this link.

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