368 appearances as a player followed, and on saturday, heynckes, now 67, will celebrate with his 631st career win in FC bayern’s home match against werder bremen. A jubilee as a trainer: it’s his 1000th mission. Bundesliga match!
"That’s an impressive number," said heynckes, who, with his foreign engagements in spain and portugal, even comes to much more than 1,000 games in which he has sat on the bench as head coach. In the bundesliga, only top-ranked otto rehhagel broke the 1000 barrier with 1033 games (201 players/832 coaches).
"You can see how the years have gone by," heynckes said on the occasion of the anniversary and proudly confessed: "as a player, i would never have dared to dream of this. It’s a long history, you could learn a lot from it. You could write not just one book, but several," he said, "but I won’t do that."
Heynckes lives in the here and now. And that means bremen for him. Werder coach thomas schaaf is also celebrating an anniversary at the allianz arena: he is about to make his 750th appearance. Commitment, if you add to the 262 games as a player and the 468 as a coach in the bundesliga his 19 appearances in the second division in a werder jersey. But there will be no reciprocal gifts, as heynckes remarked: "we want to win the game against bremen."
Heynckes is on the home stretch of his career right now with bayern through the bundesliga and also europe, as the 3:1 in the champions league at FC arsenal in london proved. "We’re playing top-flight football at a very high european level," enthused the coach, who explained: "modern football is a collective effort at the moment. We are ahead of many teams in this respect."
For him, this collective consists of more than eleven players. And that’s why heynckes was allowed to set the rotation in motion against bremen, especially since there’s already the rough cup duel with borussia dortmund on wednesday. Arjen robben will get the chance to prove that he belongs on the pitch, not on the bench. Heynckes said that he had "not guaranteed anything to anyone", but that it was "highly probable" that robben would play against bremen and dortmund. With franck ribery suspended against BVB, robben needs a 90-minute warm-up.
In addition to the "little jubilarian" schaaf, a man whose employer is actually FC bayern is in the spotlight at the opposing team. Eleven goals have already been scored for werder this season by nils petersen, who is on loan from the league leader. The signs now indicate that the 24-year-old will continue to wear the bremen jersey beyond the summer. On his return to munich for 90 minutes, petersen also wanted to be as successful as possible, especially since his actual employer could easily cope with it, as he joked in advance: "fortunately, bayern’s table situation is so comfortable that i can’t hurt them with bremen."