Rumors had been flying about the appointment, but Bayern Munich finally has a new sporting director and his name is Hasan Salihamidžić. The club had been searching for Matthias Sammer’s replacement since his official departure in June and numerous candidates had been rumored for the position including Phillip Lahm, but Salihamidžić was confirmed during a press conference today.
Da ist der neue Sportdirektor! Hasan @Brazzo #Salihamidzic kommt zur Vorstellung mit Uli #Hoeneß und Karl-Heinz #Rummenigge #FCB @FCBayern pic.twitter.com/dFZDTFOJGh— BILD FC Bayern (@BILD_Bayern) July 31, 2017
Brazzo, as he is affectionately called by Bayern supporters, was a fan favorite during his years with the club due to his positive attitude and work ethic. The Bosnian played for Bayern from 1998 to 2007 and achieved numerous honors with the club including six Bundesliga titles as well as the Champions League in 2001.
Although he has no prior experience as a sporting director, Salihamidžić seems to be a popular choice for the position. Since his retirement from professional football, Salihamidžić has maintained a connection with Bayern as a club ambassador and with the city of Munich, as he has resided there with his family for a number of years. Indeed, his children were even born in Munich!
At the press conference, it was confirmed that Salihamidžić has signed a three-year contract with the club that will expire in 2020. Regarding Salihamidžić’s hiring, Karl-Heinz Rumenigge was quoted as saying: “With Brazzo, we have someone who knows Bayern Munich very well.” He continued, “"Hasan is an upright, very diligent, loyal, and very sharp person, who speaks five languages,” and that, “We have complete confidence that he’ll perform this job just as he should.” Uli Hoeneß added: “He [Salihamidžić] has experienced all the highs and the lows. He has the trust of the players, the board and the fans."
As for Brazzo himself, the Bosnian seemed humbled at the prospect of working for Bayern Munich. He said that he “could identify with the club 100%” and he described the Bayern locker room as “sacred.” As for his role in day-to-day operations, Salihamidžić reiterated that his first responsibility is to the players themselves, saying, “I’ll try first of all to be there for the players.”
Rummenigge stressed Salihamidžić’s primary role would be to serve as “a link between the team and the coach, and the coach and the club.” Hoeneß elaborated that that would include sitting on the bench at games, as Matthias Sammer had done: “[The sporting director] must sit on the bench, be with the team in the locker room before, during and after the game.” Hoeneß moreover added that, while transfers would not be the sporting director’s primary responsibility, he would be involved: “One thing is clear: there will not be any transfer talks in which Hasan Salihamidžić is not at the table, too."