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Bayern CEO, Rummenigge: ‘Lewandowski, Neuer Are The Best In The World’

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has told bundesliga.com that striker, Robert Lewandowski and goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer are the best in the world in their respective positions.
In this exclusive interview, Rummenigge also discusses head coach Hansi Flick, Bayern’s insatiable will to win, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and the late Diego Maradona…

Rummenigge on Hansi Flick

Firstly, he has quality. Quality in a coach is very important. He has a clear plan. In his daily work, his ‘daily work’ for me is what happens from Monday to Friday and then what you see on a Saturday is ideally the result of that.

They work really hard every day in training to make the game on Saturday positive and successful. You can see that. From the start, he’s had a very clear plan, he found a common thread, an empathy with the team straight away, that was very important, we needed that back.

So what he’s done is all good. It would be nice if we can keep progressing or even I could say keep it where we are at the moment.

Rummenigge on managing FC Bayern Munich…

I’ve always said one thing: ‘The coach is the most important member of the club’. If the coach can create unity with the team, if the coach has a clear plan, if the coach is good in the day-to-day work, then in my experience, that usually leads to success.

Also Read: Pele Pens Emotional Tribute To ‘Incomparable Maradona’[1]

And Hansi has achieved that here. I’ve experienced some great coaches here, whether it’s Jupp Heynckes, Louis van Goal, Pep Guardiola, all of whom have contributed greatly to what we could call the FC Bayern way and that’s something that Hansi has cultivated again.

The coaches who have had success here haven’t had it by accident, it’s because they are simply good coaches or they were. Hansi belongs in that category. He’s played a really important role in our recovering of the FC Bayern way or rather, he’s recovered it himself and it’s no accident that success has followed him.

Rummenigge on the FIFA Men’s Best Player and Robert Lewandowski…

Firstly, I think it’s good that FIFA are continuing with the vote this year. It wasn’t clear whether it would happen. I spoke with the FIFA president about it a couple of times, I told him that we have this vote every year and football has been played this year, you can’t forget that.

The Bundesliga was completed, the major leagues in Europe were all decided, the Champions League was completed and I told him if in ten years it says ‘2021, he won, 2022, he won’ but there’s a gap in 2020, for me that would be a mistake that you could still correct.
And I’m happy that FIFA have brought it back, I hope that Robert wins, he’s had an amazing year, I think Robert Lewandowski is in the form of his life, despite the fact he’s 32 now but it’s not a foregone conclusion.

I would like him to win, I hope he wins, he’ll have earned it but we’ll have to wait and see if he does win it at the end of the day.

On Manuel Neuer…

Manuel Neuer is 34 now and he’s just getting better and better. He’s like a red wine that matures each year. He anticipates pretty much every shot wherever it comes from and makes the save.

We’ve seen that in the last couple of weeks in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League. He’s the best goalkeeper in the world, I think he’s even the best goalkeeper of all time.

We’ve always had good goalkeepers in Germany, at Bayern, when you talk about Sepp Meyer or Oliver Kahn but I think Manuel Neuer has taken goalkeeping to a new level and we’re really happy that he’s lining up between the sticks for us.

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Late Diego Maradona

Rummenigge on Diego Maradona’s passing…

It shocked us all, those of us who knew him or perhaps didn’t know him; I was quite shocked, before the game, I found out he’d died from a heart attack. We were all so sad. I knew him personally for three years in Italy when he played for Napoli and I was at Inter Milan.

Obviously, the most important game I played against him was the World Cup final, 1986, Germany vs. Argentina in Mexico City in front of 100,000 fans. He was captain of Argentina and I was captain of Germany.

I can still remember before the game, I went to the halfway line, the referees were all there already, ready for the coin toss. He winked at me and I thought ‘wow, he’s confident’, and I said to him in Italian ‘we’re not here to make it easy for you, Germany aren’t going to be a comfortable opponent for you today!’

It was a good game, it was 2-2 before we unfortunately lost 3-2 late on. But he had an amazing tournament, he was the best player of the tournament, so you were happy to see him leave the pitch as a deserved world champion.
I thought about him on Wednesday when the news broke, I was remembering back and I thought about how good a guy he was, as long as he was playing football, he was the happiest guy in the world. You got the feeling that when his football career ended, so did his happiness a little bit.

We all regretted that. I can only recommend that everyone watch the documentary about him: I’ve never seen anything as honest or as good as the documentary about Diego Maradona.

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