Jupp Heynckes joined the exclusive club of three to have managed two different clubs to Champions League success with Bayern Munich's 2-1 victory against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley, then denied the German champions had forced him out to make way for Pep Guardiola.
"I made my mind up this time last year," after the defeat by Chelsea, the Bayern coach said. "It was my decision. I told the club this would be my last season, and I am just pleased that it has been such an outstanding success."
Bayern's season could get even better next week, when only Stuttgart in the German Cup final stand between Heynckes's players and the country's first treble, and it is possible Guardiola will struggle to match that level of achievement. "We have accomplished something that has never happened before," the 68-year-old said. "We won the title by 25 points and I don't think any team has played such a consistent season at such a high level. My successor will be able to take over a perfectly prepared team, with Mario Götze still to join us. I don't think Robert Lewandowski will be hanging around for too long either.
"I don't know exactly what will happen in the future but I do know my team was determined to win this final. They had to. If you look at the ages of players like Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger, it is time for them to win something like this. It is the honour that until now has passed them by. I was particularly pleased for Arjen Robben too, because last year he was a tragic figure. We had to make sure he was ready for this game, and he was."
Robben missed a crucial penalty in the shootout last season, but atoned here with a man of the match performance and the winning goal. "I was prepared for today, I had a lot of plans after what had happened before," the Holland winger said. "Providing an assist and scoring the winner at the end is a dream, it is very difficult for me to believe it. A lot of things went through my mind at the end, but the Champions League is the only thing we really needed, especially after the last two finals, and at last we did it. We can forget about the other finals now. We are a real team. We fight for each other and run for each other. I'm really proud. Finally!"
Jürgen Klopp's almost permanent smile was briefly wiped away by the pain of a late defeat, though the Dortmund coach did admit his players were suffering by the end and he feared their chance had gone. "I didn't see the last goal, it was a free-kick, and we were not in the right formation," Klopp said. "It was late in the game, and it was a really hard season for us. I could see it coming from 75 minutes on. Some players had cramp, but at least it was a close match.
"We deserved to be in the final, and we showed that tonight. It's not the most important thing, but it is important. We will be back. Maybe not back at Wembley, but back in the final. Berlin in two years would be nice."
Klopp declined to blame the referee for not showing Dante a second yellow when he gave away the penalty that brought Dortmund level. "I couldn't say for sure that we would have won with 11 against 10," he said. "At one point I thought the match was so open we could have won it. There were perhaps a few things we could have done differently, but I'd like to congratulate Bayern and Jupp. I really think he deserves this title."
With more key players likely to leave over the summer, Klopp realises that his team may not bounce straight back. "First we have a holiday, then I have to buy some new players," he said. "We might need a new team. I need some time to feel proud again. I'm sure it is still in me somewhere, but at the moment the disappointment prevails."
Klopp's smile was back in place before the end of the evening. "It's been great," he said. "The weather, the stadium, the game, the lot. Only the result was shit."
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