For Jupp Heynckes, former World Champion Bastian Schweinsteiger stands on a level with Uwe Seeler, the 82-year-old football idol from Hamburg. Bastian has always remained on the ground,”said the long-time coach of FC Bavaria Munich in the interview of the”dpa”.
Mr. Heynckes, the career ending of Bastian Schweinsteiger did not come as a surprise to you?
Jupp Heynckes: That was foreseeable. I’ve had a lot of contact with Bastian over the last few years. I think it was a very good and right decision for him to end his great football career at the age of 35. Bastian had an extraordinary career. This is what his farewell game in Munich showed when 75-000 spectators came and celebrated him. People have shown him that he is one of them, that they have locked him in his heart. That shows me that one of the greatest footballers in Germany has said goodbye.
How did you experience it?
He was a model for his teammates, is a model for the young people in the country who want to become professional footballers and can look up to a person who is authentic. It is grounded and natural and also shows empathy. Bastian has always remained on the ground.
For some years you have gone down the road together. What are your greatest memories of Bastian Schweinsteiger?
Bastian was always one who went ahead. To me, he was also a co-thinker. We kept cutting each other off and arguing. He showed me that the decisions I made were also right.
Or wrong. Was there one?
He has been one who has also dealt with one or other conflict situation within the team in agreement with me. Such a thing belongs to a great and very important player. And he was. He had and has the personality and also the special gift to talk to his teammates. If someone didn’t play or get replaced, he took care of it. He talked to the players. And made it clear that we’re a team, a team. That they are decisions that are not directed against the player, but for the success of the team. That was Bastian Schweinsteiger.
What would you wish him, what would you advise him for the future?
I think he had a lot of heights, like everyone in our job but also once walked through a valley floor. He’s done almost everything right in his life. He knows exactly how to shape his next life. He has a wonderful little family, a great wife. Ana and he get along great. They’ve been looking for each other, you might say. You don’t have to worry about Bastian Schweinsteiger’s future.
Do you ever see him as a coach?
I don’t think so. He’d make a perfect coach. He knows so much about football, he’s been through so much. He has a unique career. He has achieved everything you could wish for. Most of all, people have locked him in their hearts. It already has symbolic power. He now has a place in Germany like Uwe Seeler. People like him, people respect him.
I don’t know exactly what he’s up to. It will remain in the hands of football, as he himself said. He’s matured into a great personality. It is multilingual, so I can imagine that it can work in management. But, Coach, I wouldn’t advise it in this day and age. As I know him, he will not do that either.
ZUR PERSON: Jupp Heynckes (74) as coach of the German football record champion FC Bavaria Munich together with Bastian Schweinsteiger won the Triple of Champions League, Championship and DFB Cup. He also celebrated the Champions League Triumph with the Spanish club Real Madrid. His coaching career ended with the World Cup Championship in Munich.