9.05.2020Bayer 04

The answer is: Jupp Heynckes!

He spent two years at Leverkusen. Jupp Heynckes was the Werkself head coach from 2009 to 2011. Simon Rolfes was the captain back then. The current Bayer 04 sporting director takes this opportunity to pay tribute to the coach and the man Jupp Heynckes, who is 75 years old today.

After I finished playing, a lot of people wanted to know which coach impressed me most during my professional career. And even if it doesn’t make much sense comparing different characters, coaches with different ways of working and completely different approaches to the game – Jupp Heynckes was the best.

I believe that and I’m sure no other coach I’ve played for would hold it against me for saying so. As Jupp Heynckes, who will be 75 years old on Saturday, has been above it all for a long time. He’s appreciated like hardly anybody else.

As a former world class striker, he had a goals return that would be unbelievable today. And later as a coach, he followed a path with highs and lows to finally become what he is today: A cornerstone of football! A popular figure far beyond Germany’s borders. A sage of our sport, whose opinions carry special weight.

Particularly in the current social crisis, people like Heynckes are more important than ever for football. In the final years of his career, he still had the ability to learn from mistakes. He didn’t take himself too seriously, always remained keen to learn, was modest and warm-hearted. He was able to ‘guide’ teams like nobody else, fill players with enthusiasm for the common good and create a team spirit that led to lots of wins and titles, to fantastic success.

For me, as I said, he was the best! Happy birthday, Jupp Heynckes!




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