Thursday 07 May 2020, 13:17

Happy Birthday, Don Jupp!

  • Many happy returns to Jupp Heynckes

  • The former coach celebrates his 75th birthday today

  • He is one of Germany’s most successful managers

From Helmut Schon, Sepp Herberger and Ottmar Hitzfeld all the way through to the currently-acclaimed and recently-crowned The Best FIFA Men’s Coach Jurgen Klopp – the list of world-class German coaches over the past 70 years is undoubtedly an impressive one. Yet one man is often unjustly overlooked: Jupp Heynckes. The former striker is celebrating his 75th birthday today on 9 May.

Looking at his triumphs and performances as both a player and a coach, it soon becomes clear that few can hold a candle to his achievements. As well as making 369 Bundesliga appearances and scoring 220 goals as a player, he also became a world and European champion with Germany.

Apart from a short stint with top-flight rivals Hannover 96 (1967-70), Heynckes played for Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach from 1962 until 1978.

It comes as no surprise to learn that he moved to the coaching bench for Die Fohlen just a year after hanging up his boots there. However, in contrast to his playing career, Heynckes the coach also ventured abroad and to Spain in particular, where he celebrated numerous successes while in charge of Athletic Bilbao, Tenerife and Los Blancos of Real Madrid.

Nevertheless, his crowning achievement came during his third of four spells with Bayern Munich. In 2013 he guided the team to a Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League treble – the first German coach ever to do so. One of the key figures in this historic triumph was Bastian Schweinsteiger, who penned his former coach a letter in Munich’s club magazine to mark his birthday:

"Dear Jupp, I consider myself very happy that I was not only able to get to know you as an exceptional trainer, but also to have a wonderful person as a friend. I learned a lot from you. You exemplified openness, team spirit, honesty, work ethic; today I sometimes miss these values in football. The years with you were perhaps the most beautiful of my career. You achieved something not many coaches can: you took all of the players and the entire team on board, including the bus drivers, kit managers and employees. I don’t know anyone who has ever spoken badly of you."

Bastian Schweinsteiger (R) and Jupp Heynckes, head coach of German football club FC Bayern Muenchen attend the morning training session


Playing career (selection)

  • FIFA World Cup: 1974

  • UEFA European Championship: 1972

  • UEFA Cup: 1975

  • Bundesliga: 1971, 1975, 1976, 1977

Coaching career

  • UEFA Champions League: 1998, 2013

  • Bundesliga: 1989, 1990, 2013, 2018

  • DFB Cup: 2013

  • German Super Cup: 1987, 1990, 2012

  • Spanish Super Cup: 1997

Heynckes was crowned FIFA World Coach of the Year after announcing his retirement from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2013. "It’s obviously a tremendous honour at the end of my career," Don Jupp said after the awards ceremony in January 2014. "I had almost 50 years as a player and coach, and experienced many highs, lows, successes and failures. This is the crowning glory to round it all off and I’m extremely happy."

At that point, he could not have guessed that he would return to Bayern for another six-month spell in October 2017 and steer Germany’s most successful club to championship glory just a few months later. Who would have expected anything less?

Did you know?

  • Heynckes was the ninth of ten children of a blacksmith.

  • He is a plasterer by trade and was eager to become an architect. At first he only played football "on the side".

  • He is one of five coaches – together with Ernst Happel, Hitzfeld, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti – to have won the UEFA Champions League or European Cup with two different clubs.

  • He is fourth in the Bundesliga’s all-time highest goalscorers’ list.