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Legendary Coach Udo Lattek Passes Away

The most successful Bundesliga coach of all time has passed away at the age of 80.

Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images

Former Bayern coach Udo Lattek died Wednesday after years of battling Parkinson's disease. He was 80 years old.

Lattek is the most successful Bundesliga coach of all time, winning eight league titles, three DFB cups, and one European cup throughout the course of his career. He was the head coach of Bayern from 1970 to 1975 and 1983 to 1987. Most Bundesliga fans of today will remember him for the 16 years he spent as a pundit on Sport1's Doppelpass.

While he had a relatively unsuccessful career as a player, Lattek began his coaching career with the German national team. He worked under head coach Helmut Schön from 1965 to 1970 and joined the team on their trip to the 1966 World Cup. Upon the recommendation of Franz Beckenbauer, Bayern hired Lattek in 1970, where he would work for a cumulative nine years.

Bayern won six domestic titles under Lattek and he left the Bavarians with an impressive record of 184 wins out of 299 matches. He led the club to their first European Cup championship in 1974. With Uli Hoeneß, Gerd Müller, and Franz Beckenbauer, Bayern beat Atlético Madrid 4-0 in that match. Lattek left Bayern after that season but continued his success as coach with Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he won two more domestic titles and the UEFA Cup, and Barcelona, where he won the European Cup Winners' Cup.

Matthias Sammer has a special connection to Udo Lattek. After retiring from coaching and working for several years as a commentator and columnist, Lattek came back to coaching in an attempt to save Borussia Dortmund from relegation in 2000. Dortmund were saved following a 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin and Sammer took over as head coach the following season.

Lattek's health had been on the decline for the past several years. He suffered two strokes, underwent brain surgery, and was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2013. He had been living in a nursing home under the care of his wife in Cologne since 2010.

Bayern released a statement on their website this morning following the announcement of his passing.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who was brought to the club by Lattek, was quoted as saying, "We are deeply moved and affected by the news of Udo Lattek's death. His name is so closely associated with the rise of FC Bayern in the 1970s. He is one of Germany's most successful coaches, as well as one of the sport's biggest personalities, at home and abroad for many decades. We have lost one of FC Bayern's true greats - a personal supporter and friend."

Head coach Pep Guardiola remembers Lattek for his contributions to Barcelona, saying, "Udo Lattek was an exceptional coach and a huge personality. He made a deep impression on FC Barcelona."

The club stated that they will never forget Udo Lattek and offered their deepest sympathies to his wife, Hildegard, and their family.

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