Jupp Heynckes may not be done, something his agent’s making sure we know.
One day after winning his second UEFA Champions League title, the soon-to-be former Bayern Munich coach was having his hat thrown back into the ring. Speaking on Spanish radio, agent Enrique Reyes said his client would be willing to return to Real Madrid, the club with which he won his first European title.
In 1997-98, the German coach took El Real to the European summit, but after finishing fourth in La Liga, Heynckes lost his job. Now, after 15 years, the man who raised hardware yesterday at Wembley is willing to let bygones be bygones:
“Jupp would love to go back to Real. If Florentino Pérez calls us, we would most likely accept the offer”, he told the Spanish national radio station.
“For the time being, he has only retired from the Bundesliga”, Reyes said, before concluding with a come-and-get-me plea: “It’s not up to Heynckes, it’s up to Florentino Pérez”.
By now we know who Real Madrid want: Paris Saint-Germain’s Carlo Ancelotti. And they’re likely to get him. Yet with Rafa Benítez likely to land in Napoli, Heynckes may come into Pérez’s picture if Ancelotti has a change of heart.
Whether that’s a good thing is less certain. Heynckes had a great 2012-13 and deserves as much credit as any Bayern player, but it was a culmination of a two-year effort, with Heynckes having picked up the pieces from Louis van Gaal. In his first year on the job, Bayern finished without a trophy, losing the Champions League final on home soil. It was only in Heynckes’s second year that everything came together.
Who knows if he’ll be given that time at Real Madrid. Whomever Pérez hires will be expected to win something next year, but inheriting a squad built to suit José Mourinho, the new Madrid boss will need to make changes. And as Real looks to reestablish an organization ceded to Mourinho, Heynckes will have to work with the higher ups to make that happen. They don’t need to rebuild, but in 2013-14, Real Madrid will still be a process.
Is that the right job for a man who was thought to be on the verge of retirement? Particularly one who was already shown away from the Bernabeu once?
Perhaps it’s not ideal. Still, Real Madrid could do a lot worse than Jupp Heynckes.