Karl-Heinz Rummenigge about…
— We highly appreciate that several our players became world champions at once. It is a very peculiar feeling, when you come to play to other cities and your club is treated not only just as a football team, but as a phenomenon, as Hollywood stars — Rummenigge admitted to the group of Russian journalists at the meeting, which have already become annual due to Champions League draw. Unfortunately the abovementioned bears no relation to Munichers’ match in Moscow. In cold November of 2013 the stadium in Khimki appeared to be empty, this time football fans were not allowed at all to tiers. The only thing, which encouraged “Hollywood feeling” in players and coaches of FC Bayern, was the case with fire alarm system in hotel, when the team had just arrived from Cologne. And, of course, the team remained a top-team at the field. That only heightens compliments to CSKA — host players made goal attempts near rivals net enough to play in a draw (FC Bayern owes much to Manuel Neuer, who is a great player without exaggeration), and minimized problems near their own net. It is the very case when a rival won due to the level and not without luck. On the same level Karl-Heinz Rummenigge argued about the most urgent football issues — always in few words but concisely.
Possibility of exclusion of CSKA from the Champions League because of fans’ behavior:
— I’m football for 40 years and I have never faced the situation, when the match was being played without spectators. To play without atmosphere, without spectators and emotions is, probably, the most odd thing, which I have ever seen in football. I see the meaning of UEFA’s resolution to leave stadium in Khimki without fans, but I’m not sure that it was the right choice. Sometimes clubs can hardly control their fans. Once very young fellows posted a banner with racist statement at the match with Arsenal. UEFA prohibited access to the curve. It was hard for us to stand that resolution, but, unfortunately, it happens so, that an idiocy of single persons taints the image of the whole club. Actually there is a threat that UEFA will exclude CSKA from the Champion League for the future year. But, can you tell me whether it is good for football? Will this finally do good to CSKA? That is why I think that more weighted and, what is more significant, effective position should be worked out. None of us like such incidents. But they are hard to be prevented, though.
Possible sanctions against Russia and Saint-Petersburg regarding conduct of World Cup-2018 and Euro-2020:
— I don’t like such sanctions. The resolution was passed two years about that World Cup will take place in Russia. Saint-Petersburg waits matches of Euro-2020. That is why I would want no changes. I was quite young, when two Olympic Games were boycotted in turn — first in the USA, then yours. This resulted in loss of both parties, especially of sportsmen, which have been preparing for these competitions for years. I am impressed that UEFA’s president Michel Platini does not interfere with politics. Many of us are involved in politics anyway, but one should not exaggerate its influence on sport. In spite of the fact that Russia didn’t get out of the group at World Cup in Brazil, I think, that by 2018 you will be one of the favorites. And afterwards even in Brazil it was seen that you gained from match to match. The problem is that you have committed a lot of mistakes, and on short distances one has to pay high.
— I’m sure: it will be fair to give this award to the player of Bayern. We have won eight trophies for the last three years! Our players, for example, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm (for a moment there are merely three!) conducted a fantastic World Cup in Brazil and won. Though UEFA’s management said like Balon D’Or is a European award, and World Cup cannot play a major role while winner determination, — now the time is coming for FIFA to show, how actually this tournament is important in this issue. You can take also victory in Bundesliga, Germany Cup, participation in semi-final of the Champions League. Simply speaking I’ll treat it as a miracle if our player won’t win Balon D’Or this year.
Jealousy to successes of the current generation of German national team:
— Yes, it turned out that I, being a part of German national team, have lost two finals of World Cup — first in Spain in 1982, and then in Mexico in 1986. It was very bitter to lose in the last final because I, taking the field, knew already, that it was my last match in Bundesteam, that I was finishing my appearance for it. Well, Franz Beckenbauer, having become a World Champion in 1974, is still joking at me: “I’ve won one World Cup more than you!”
Broadcasting rights market:
— English Premier League has made a lot in the nearest past in order to promote itself for future profitable contracts. It was written a lot about it, famous columnists were attracted in newspapers and Internet resources, who made a glowing description of everything, which happened in Premier League. Besides it, English clubs began to tour in order to present their brands as great as possible. Today many Italian and German clubs act in the same way, by Englishmen were the first, who began it, and that is why they are ahead of the field. They still have several top-clubs, which set the tone. But there are moves also in Spain, where are already not two, but three clubs, which sell themselves at the top level. At the moment Spain is the main concurent of Bundesliga.
Role of FC Bayern in Bundesliga:
— When we take players, for example, from Dortmund, like Gotze or Lewandowski, we are criticized quite reasonably. But when we seek for strengthening in other teams, we never take football players from the clubs, which struggle for survival. Yes, we are seeking for them in Borussia, Schalke, Bayer. Earlier, when Werder was strong, players transferred to us therefrom. The same is about HSV. But players like to play in Munchen. We are a strong club, we have a great coach, besides it, Munchen is a wonderful city, and Allianz Arena is a first class stadium. One can understand players’ wish to play at us, which has been visible for many years.
— We are very pleased with his work. In his presence we won a lot of trophies, including club World Cup. We eased up a little in the second part of the last season, but, possibly, a great number of matches influenced it, and players lost concentration a little. Believe me — the most disappointed, angry person in team after the lost semifinal of the Champions League to Real Madrid was our coach. We want Guardiola to work at us as longer as possible. He is a genius. Both at the field and outside it.
Cooling in relations with Borussia Dortmund:
— Our cross-talks are more jokes than war. The same things happen in Spain between Rea and Barcelona, the similar situation is in Italy, when the question is about Milan and Inter. Concerning my so called statement that Marco Reus will transfer to Bayern next summer, it is hardly true. I said that there is opportunity to use the clause in the player’s contract, which allows him to leave Borussia, if 25 mln of Euro will be proposed — finally, it is not such an astronomical sum. But I didn’t say a word about that the deal was being already prepared. And also many journalists first invented the figure of 35 mln, which is not true.
Comparison on fates of Manuel Neuer and Igor’Akinfeev:
— I’ve always respected Russian football, I had a great experience of meetings with your teams. It is hard for me to judge why Akinfeev didn’t leave abroad, when he had such proposals. Sometimes it’s better to leave, sometimes to stay at home. I suppose, your clubs can provide such financial conditions that players won’t leave anywhere.
FC Bayern without Uli Hoeness:
— It’s an odd feeling. We have been working with him hand by hand for all this time when we headed FC Bayern, and now his office is empty. I get used to the fact that at any time I could sit with him with a cup of coffee, during which we solved all problems together. We keep in touch with him — sometimes personnel of the club is allowed to visit Uli in prison. He is in good form, have lost nearly 50 kilograms. It is good for his health, but FC Bayern lacks Hoeness.
Fire alarm system in Moscow hotel:
— I was still in Germany, when I was called and said, that the team had an adventure. Either fire or a bomb – I still didn’t understand. I asked: “How are players?” I was said: “They went to Irish pub nearby”. I asked only to see about them not drinking too much whiskey! (Laughing.)
Text: Ivan Zhidkov
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