Heynckes leaves on high as Robben revels in being the Bavarian hero again

Bayern coach suggests club may be entering period of Champions League dominance, while winning goalscorer is releieved to have finally ended his losing streak

Jupp Heynckes of Bayern Munich is thrown skyward by his players after winning the Uefa Champions League final  against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. Photograph:   Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Jupp Heynckes of Bayern Munich is thrown skyward by his players after winning the Uefa Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Mon, May 27, 2013, 02:00

There may be a treble ahead, as the fortuitously named Irving Berlin never quite wrote, but Jupp Heynckes was looking beyond that as he reflected on the future of a club he will leave following the German cup final next week.

Asked about the potential for Pep Guardiola to maintain this season’s tremendous success when he takes over, Heynckes observed with obvious satisfaction that “my successor will inherit a perfectly functioning team”.

He went on to mention the like of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Saturday’s matchwinner Arjen Robben as examples of the current group who are mature enough now to lead Bayern’s talented youngsters to success on the European stage.

“Bayern will have to prove that they can continue to achieve these things,” he added, “but it is quite possible a new era might have begun for Bayern Munich. ”

These things cannot be banked upon. It would have been almost impossible to believe on the night that Barcelona beat Manchester United at Wembley that they would be so comprehensively routed by European rivals just a couple of years later.

And United, of course, left that night vowing to return stronger and better adapted to the shifting challenges of taking on the Champions League. Instead they have struggled on the European stage since. Things, in short, do not always go to plan.
A stinker
Robben knew all about that after the first half of this game. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid star was having what might, politely, be called a stinker when he and his team mates left the pitch for the interval.

From half an hour in he had started to emerge as Bayern’s most likely source of a breakthrough but fluffed the chances that came his way to leave the likes of Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Müller bitterly complaining that he had taken the wrong options.

After the nightmare of last year’s final it seemed the 29-year-old might emerge as his side’s villain again. Things were to change rather dramatically, however, in the second half.
Plans
“I had plans in me head, as I always do before a game,” he said afterwards, “but to sit here now knowing that I provided the assist for the first goal for Mandzukic and scored the second with a few minutes to go is like a dream come true for me.”

Asked whether he had thought at all about last year’s final when he missed a penalty in the shootout and was booed afterwards by the fans, he said: “Yes, I think a lot of things go through your mind. I wouldn’t want to say my whole career, but a lot of things; last year’s final, the World Cup final of 2010. It would have been three finals and you don’t want the tag of ‘a loser’.

“Now we have won, though, and this is the pinnacle of my career. To hear the referee’s whistle and know that you are the winners of the Champions League, it’s the only thing that we really needed, that we lacked from our lives.”

It might be still lacking but for the coolness he showed in the 89th minute as Franck Ribery held up the ball on the edge of the area and the Dutch international burst past and into the area.

“When I got the ball I was free,” he said. “I anticipated Franck’s move. My only thought was if he would leave the ball in the right space for me but the ball was perfectly in my path and I took it well in my stride. My first thought then was to go past him [Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller] but then he made the first move and I knew I could put it on the other side of him so that he was, how do you say, on the wrong foot.”