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Rummenigge: “Barça is once again a powerhouse”

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (66 years old) was a german soccer emblem about him field and also in offices. After a fabulous career as a footballer, he held the position of general manager of Bayern from 2002 to 2021. Currently, works for the European Club Association (ECA). Serve AS two days after his Bayern play against him FC Barcelona.

-Let me ask you about those dance classes that you had promised your wife after take a step back as CEO of BayernThey have started?

-Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet…

Unfortunately?

You know how well and delighted I dance (laughs). I’m seriously thinking about keeping my promise. The other day we were watching a tango movie together and he looked at me as if he wanted to remind me. I won’t be able to sneak much longer.

Football stadiums will be more familiar to you than the parquet. Did a smile escape you when Barça went to the same group as your Bayern?

Obviously. Everything will focus on the reunion with Robert Lewandowski, although I have many memories of the games against Barcelona. The 2-8 was something legendaryBut there were also other moments. Once we played there with Jürgen Klinsmann and we went 4-0 at the break. I remember that in the second part I looked at the clock more often than ever before or since in my life.

“2-8 was something legendary, but there were also other moments. Once we played there with Jürgen Klinsmann and we went 4-0 at the break”

Rummenigge

There were also better moments, like in 2013.

Those are the ones I remember most fondly. 4-0 in Munich against Messi’s Barça in top form, and then 0-3 there. I told myself: if you beat Barcelona in the semifinals with a 7-0 aggregate, you deserve to win the Champions League. So it was.

Was 2-8 a before and after for Barça?

Barça had been a benchmark for a long time, a model for us to follow. I have often discussed it with Uli Hoeness. Unfortunately, that has changed a bit in recent years. That crazy game in Lisbon was already a sign. We were quite nervous earlier, expecting a close game. On the way back, we sat on the bus and drank beer. It looked like a movie. We all hope that the sensations the next day will still be as beautiful as they were then.

“Barça had been a benchmark for a long time, a model for us to follow. Unfortunately, that has changed a bit in recent years.”

Rummenigge

From training talent to building levers. What happened?

Barcelona was a role model for La Masía. Then they hit the big time with Messi, that raised the entire club to another level. Unfortunately, the ravages of time also took their toll on him and, in addition, the club was in serious financial trouble. I know Joan Laporta very well. He rejected a new start based on patience and preferred a faster one. Now, at least he was able to show that the team he has just built is once again a force to be reckoned with.

Isn’t it risky to mortgage the club in this way?

I know Joan, he is a born optimist. However, I am convinced that he is now the right person to take the helm. He knows the club like nobody else, he was part of the golden age with Pep. And, to be honest, finances don’t have such a big weight in Spain as they do here. If the sports performance is adequate, everything ends up being solved in some way. The clocks go different there. With the more than one billion euros of debt that is being talked about, he would have spent many nights without falling asleep.

“I know Joan, he is a born optimist. However, I am convinced that he is now the right person to take the helm. And, to be honest, finances do not have such a great weight in Spain as they do here.”

Rummenigge

Is coach Julian Nagelsmann right when he says that he does not understand how a club can sign without having money?

In general, I usually recommend: shoe rack, to your shoes. Julian shouldn’t make political statements, that’s up to Oliver Kahn and Herbert Hainer. In fact, they returned the ball from Spain. I think it’s always best to stick to your own area of ​​expertise. They had to take a new path in Barcelona. They transferred a lot of income from the future to the present in order to undertake transfers. Barcelona was always an important club for football in Europe.

Didn’t you predict that they would finish third in the group?

I didn’t predict it, I wished for it (laughs). But Inter gave me worse feelings in the first game.

With Lewandowski, everything is easier?

There was a lot of discussion in the summer, but it must be said clearly: in Barcelona he is also performing in an extraordinary way, for the third time in a row.

“It has to be said clearly: in Barcelona Lewandowski is also performing in an extraordinary way, for the third time in a row.”

Rummenigge

What reception do you expect at the Allianz Arena?

I would like Bayern and the public to receive it with gratitude. Don’t forget that he played here for eight years, he won everything there is to win and he scored between 35 and 50 goals every season. Besides, he came free and left leaving 45 million euros. He has contributed to the good of Bayern.

In memory, however, the soap opera around his departure remains.

Spain was always on his mind. And this was, perhaps, the last opportunity to sign for a club of this magnitude. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s been one of the biggest signings of the last 15, 20 years.

Together with whom?

Ribéry, Robben, Neuer, Lewandowski – in that order.

He came to reject an offer from Madrid for Ribéry arguing that “we are not a selling club, and our contracts are fulfilled.” Would Lewandowski still be under his command?

It was a win-win situation for both sides. Bayern spent a lot of money this summer, so it was also good to find a solution with Robert. Bayern has always stood out for achieving sporting success with solid financing.

His representative pressed a lot. Do agents have too much power?

There are always those nuances between what is true, what is not, what is manipulated, what is not, and what the public ends up discovering or not. But that is already a thing of the past. However, what Volker Struth said during the covid crisis was not true. Let me quote you verbatim: “We’ll have to bake smaller rolls, too.” Well, those smaller bagels have turned into some good baguettes again.

Transfer spending is at a level even higher than before the crisis.

There are still discussions, at least in Germany, about sustainability and finances. The fans are the ones who want to be noticed. This is a visible problem in all areas of our society. Football cannot afford to pay more and more every year. Since the Bosman case, this has become a one-way street that only goes up., the nuts get tighter and tighter. We have to be careful that the football industry is not the only industry in the world that does not make a profit.

Some continue to pursue other plans such as the Super League. What do you think?

This idea arises as a result of the income of the Premier. I have a relaxed relationship with Florentino Pérez. He was always a great critic of the fact that the English brought billionaires, hedge funds or, now, even entire states into the world of football and that the rest of Europe had to suffer for it. The great promoter is exclusively England. Net investments in England are higher than ever. And that does affect competitiveness.

.”I have a relaxed relationship with Florentino Pérez. He was always a big critic of the English bringing billionaires, hedge funds or, now, even entire states into the world of football.”

Rummenigge

Toni Kroos – perhaps not entirely indifferent – ​​also believes that the Super League must and will come. What does he think?

At the end of the day, he plays for the club that is still convinced that he will arrive. I, on the other hand, am sure that this issue will not be discussed again between the great clubs of France, England and Germany. And a Super League without the participation of these three leagues will never happen. It is clear that owners who pour their private wealth into their clubs will always pursue these kinds of ideas. After all, they don’t invest their money in these clubs and then hand it over to the Good Samaritans. However, this Super League will not come. The response from the public, the media and the fans was so dramatically negative that no one will dare to go to that point again. I am more than convinced of it. Let me tell you something else.

Please!

The Superliga would not have drastically increased the income of the clubs, it would only have had two consequences. In the first place, it would have leveled the clubs from England, Spain and Italy in that sense, that is, the countries that had committed themselves at the time. And secondly, there would have been no relegation, which would have meant a kind of sine die payment for these clubs in the competition. Neither of the two things would have worked in Europe, simply because the fans don’t want them. You have to be careful not to do things in football with the sole intention of financial gain.

“The Super League would not have drastically increased the income of the clubs”

Rummenigge

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic spent €140m on transfers this summer. He once went so far as to say that he shouldn’t try to be a “Hoeness light”. Have you found your way to him?

He has been scolded quite harshly in the past, so I am even more pleased that he is being praised now. Rightly so, by the way. In fact, he has just signed a great market. I think Bayern will be champions again for the eleventh time in a row this season. But as always in the past, everything will depend on what happens in the Champions League from February. You will have to be patient.

The expectations, therefore, revolve around what is done in the Champions League?

I have to honestly say that the word “triple” is being used way too often right now. You can always dream of it, but the Champions League is a very high-end object. Who would have expected Real Madrid to win it this year?

“The Champions League is a very high-end object. Who would have expected Real Madrid to win it this year?

Rummenigge

How do you explain that this club is capable of the seemingly impossible?

I was in contact with Carlo (Ancelotti) recently. To be honest, I wanted to go to bed after the half-time result in the second leg against PSG. I have to admit that he was tired. Afterwards, I was glad I stood my ground and saw it through to the end. It wasn’t just that game, all Real Madrid’s season in the Champions League was unbeatable on a dramatic level. Not to mention that they were also proclaimed champions of the League, of the European Super Cup and will end up winning the World Cup.

What did you say to Ancelotti?

I expressed my admiration. He has heavenly patience and sometimes reveals things one would not believe possible. He was not just lucky, far from it. He himself says that he has a team with an incredible character that had achieved things that had amazed even him. In my opinion, that is one reason, the other is the stadium. I played at the Bernabéu, I was in the stands during my second function and I can only say that it generates respect, even fear. When the fans get going there, the spark jumps from the stands to the field and that becomes a cauldron. It is something positive for football.

”Ancelotti has heavenly patience and sometimes reveals things that one would not believe possible. He wasn’t just lucky. He has a team with incredible character”

Rummenigge

What goes through your mind when you think of Toni Kroos’ career since his departure in 2014?

I see two things in him. He is a player who is living a great career, but there is also that Toni Kroos who is too critical for me. When he talks about Uli Hoeness again, for example, I have to honestly say I don’t like it. Let’s not forget that it was Uli Hoeness who signed him from Rostock at the age of 16 for a million euros. It was by far the highest amount ever paid for such a young boy at Bayern. He then trained here, took his first, second and even third steps as a professional in this team. Thus, Kroos should be grateful to Uli Hoeness.

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