Jupp Heynckes bowed out with Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals with the head coach admitting not many 72-year-olds get to experience “such an adventure”.
Heynckes, who turns 73 next Wednesday, took charge of his final European match in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Real Madrid before he steps down at the end of the season.
“Of course I know now, it’s final that I’ll never go back to the bench in a Champions League game – and I think that’s a good thing,” he said as Bayern bowed out 4-3 on aggregate.
“Not many people get to go on such an adventure at the age of 72.
“I don’t feel the emotion ‘yes, now it’s over’, I’m just disappointed with the result, especially for the players.
“I have to compliment my team, I have not seen FC Bayern in form like that for many years, it was football at its best.”
When Carlo Ancelotti was sacked last October, Heynckes returned to Bayern after four years in retirement since leading Bayern to the 2013 treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles.
He only signed a contract until June and Heynckes will be replaced by Eintracht Frankfurt boss Niko Kovac next season.
His Bayern team went down fighting in Madrid.
Bayern’s sports director Hasan Salihamidzic poured praise on Heynckes.
“You have to see where we’ve come from, we were written off in October, so I have to give Jupp Heynckes a lot of praise,”said Salihamidzic.