World of Sport

Boris Becker on Bayern: Replacing Heynckes with Guardiola ‘bizarre’

World of Sport

Bayern Munich would not have brought in Josep Guardiola to replace Jupp Heynckes if they knew they were in line for a historic treble, according to former Bayern director and six-times Grand Slam tennis winner Boris Becker.

Becker lives in London these days, but spent 10 years on the board of the club he has supported since his childhood in an advisory capacity after concluding his glorious tennis career.

Becker has already placed a bet on Bayern beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1 in Saturday's all-German Champions League final at Wembley Stadium as part of an "ambassador" role with an online betting firm.

But it is a flutter he firmly believes in.

Heynckes is on the verge of leading Bayern to a unique treble of Bundesliga, European Cup and German Cup.

Yet he will depart the club to be replaced by former Barcelona coach Guardiola during the close season.

Only Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 1999, Guardiola with Barca in 2009 and Jose Mourinho running Inter Milan a year later have landed such a treble in the modern era of the Champions League.

Speaking to Eurosport at Wembley Stadium earlier today, Becker said the only positive about Heynckes departing is being handed the chance to finish with a unique final flourish.

"Not only is Heynckes going for the Champions League, he is going for the treble," said Becker.

"In other scenarios, you would never exchange the manager who has just won the treble.

"It is bizarre, very bizarre, but the decision was made during the winter break.

"Guardiola was a wanted man at the time. It is tough to say what the outcome would have been (if Bayern knew what was to come five months later), but it is fair to say he may have done another year.

"The man (Heynckes) is 68 and has had a great career. At least this gives him the chance to finish at the very top.

"It is a Hollywood script, very much a Hollywood movie.

"For his own sanity, I think it perhaps is the right time to call it quits."

Having already won the Bundesliga by 25 points ahead of Dortmund, usurping Borussia would be the second leg of the treble before the Bavarian club face Stuttgart in the German Cup final on June 1.

Becker feels the pressure is very much on Bayern after losing on penalties to Chelsea in the Champions League final after a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena a year ago.

"Last year's loss against Chelsea was heartbreaking. I think the pressure is a lot more on Bayern than on Dortmund," said Becker.

"On the other hand, it is a final and anything can happen. We must remember that Dortmund are a very good team.

"Especially against Bayern. They have a good record against us in the league over the past two years.

"We won the title this year, but the matches between the clubs have been tight this season - they have both ended in 1-1 draws in the league.

"There wasn't a clear-cut winner, and I see this match going very much the same."

Becker feels Mario Goetze missing the final due to a hamstring injury is good news for the midfielder from a personal level ahead of his move to Bayern for 37 million euros during the close season.

"It is a tough moment for him," commented Becker. "He was coached in Dortmund, but is joining Bayern. He didn't want to be the guy hitting a penalty to win the trophy in the 91st minute.

"You don't want to put yourself in that position. It would have been a no-win situation."

Becker feels Bayern will carry off the trophy if Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery performs to their optimum level in the final.

"I like to think that Bastian Schweinsteiger is the heart and soul of Bayern, but Franck Ribery has been exceptional for Bayern this year," said Becker.

"Offensively he was always good, but this year he managed to run back to retrieve the ball and win it for the team defensively.

"Once he has that mentality, he is dangerous for all opposing defenders.

"Arjen Robben obviously has a touch of gold. With one strike, he can change the match. But the central midfield of Bayern is going to me key to winning the final.

"So much comes down to how Javi Martinez and Schweinsteiger perform."

Becker won Wimbledon as a teenager at the age of 17 in 1985. He remains the youngest player to win the Grand Slam on grass, but feels a Bayern win at the new Wembley would be equally momentous.

"This is the home of football. It is 150 years of football and would be a fitting venue for Bayern to do it," said Becker.

"I have placed a bet on Bayern winning the final 3-1. I believe in that scoreline otherwise I wouldn't done it.

"Historically, two German clubs invading London on the football pitch gives so much to the story. It is a very emotional moment for everybody involved on Saturday."

Desmond Kane

Boris Becker is the new ambassador of online betting company, who are offering a special 'Becker Cash Back' bet on the Champions League final. For more information and a full list of odds, visit

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