Childhood & Early Life
Jupp Heynckes was born on May 9, 1945, in Mönchengladbach, Germany. He grew up in one of the most turbulent periods in German history. The country had lost two world wars and its infrastructure and economy were in shambles. Raised in Western Germany, Heynckes witnessed it undergo a complete transformation under its democratically chosen government.
Heynckes started off his youth career at Grün-Weiß Holt in his hometown. After playing there for six years, he came to play for Borussia Mönchengladbach’s youth team in 1962. A year later, he earned a position in the senior team.
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Jupp Heynckes played as a forward. In 1963, he debuted in professional football for Mönchengladbach and scored 50 goals in 82 matches during his four-year and first tenure with the team.
When he joined the club, Mönchengladbach was playing in the second division. However, in 1965, the club rose to Bundesliga under the management of Hennes Weisweiler. Heynckes, who was still a teenager, registered 23 goals in 25 matches in his first season.
He then signed with Hannover 96, where he scored 25 goals in 85 matches during his three-year tenure. Subsequently returning to Mönchengladbach, which had become the Bundesliga champion the previous year, he scored 19 goals in 33 matches and led Mönchengladbach’s successful campaign to retain the title. They were the first team in the history of the league to do so.
Heynckes was also part of the 1972-73 DFB-Pokal winning team. In the 1974-75 Bundesliga, he scored an impressive 27 goals in 31 matches and was pivotal in the team’s third Bundesliga win. The club went on to win that year’s and their first UEFA Cup, with Heynckes once more playing an important role. In the second leg of the finals, he scored a hat-trick in their 5-1 win against the Dutch club Twente.
Heynckes would win two more Bundesliga with Mönchengladbach, in 1975–76 and 1976–77. He scored 12 times in 24 matches in the former season and 15 times in 20 matches in the latter season. In 1977-78, which was to be last season as a player, Heynckes scored 18 goals in 21 matches.
In club football, Heynckes earned several accolades, including the Bundesliga top scorer in 1973–74 and 1974–75, European Cup top scorer in 1975–76, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup top scorer in 1973–74, and UEFA Cup top scorer in1972–73 and 1974–75.
Heynckes started off his international career in 1967. He played two matches that year and scored two goals. In 1972, he significantly contributed to West Germany’s successful UEFA European Championship campaign. UEFA included him, along with six other West German players, in the official Team of the Tournament.
He was part of West Germany’s team to the 1974 FIFA World Cup. Despite having had an excellent form in club football for the previous few seasons, Heynckes spent the majority of the tournament on the sidelines. He did take the field for West Germany’s first two fixtures against Chile and Australia but failed to score any goal.
He subsequently suffered an injury and could not take part in any more games. The Die Nationalmannschaft went on to win their second World Cup. In 2013, Heynckes stated that it was his career’s “greatest disappointment” but it also spurred him on and became his “greatest source for motivation.”
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During his final years as a player at Mönchengladbach, Jupp Heynckes adopted the role of a mentor to the young players. He retired as a player in 1978 and immediately began his career as an assistant manager at Mönchengladbach under Udo Lattek.
In 1979, he replaced Lattek as the manager of the team. In the first season, he guided Mönchengladbach to the 1980 UEFA Cup final, where they were defeated by Eintracht Frankfurt.
Heynckes spent the next eight years with Mönchengladbach. Under him, the team played 343 matches, winning 169 of them. In July 1987, he joined Bayern Munich as the new manager. This was the first of his four tenures with the club. He led the team to the DFB-Supercup win in his first season. Forming a strong team, Heynckes orchestrated two back-to-back Bundesliga wins for Bayern. They also won the DFL-Supercup in 1990.
He left Bayern and Germany in 1992 to be the manager of the Spanish club Athletic Bilbao. He was the only third German manager in Spain's La Liga besides Hennes Weisweiler and Lattek. In his first season there, he led the Basque club to a fifth-place finish. They went on to reach the third round of the 1992-93 Copa del Rey.
After spending two years with Bilbao, Heynckes returned to Germany to manage Eintracht Frankfurt. He encountered a lot of issues during his tenure there, including disagreements with star players Anthony Yeboah, Jay-Jay Okocha and Maurizio Gaudino. Heynckes completed the season in Eintracht with 12 wins, 10 draws and 12 losses and resigned from his post soon after.
He subsequently went back to Spain to manage CD Tenerife. His first season there was comparatively successful. Tenerife finished fifth in the La Liga and they reached the quarter-finals in Copa del Rey. In the following year, the club was at the ninth place at the end of the La Liga and made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, where they lost to the eventual winners FC Schalke 04.
In June 1997, Heynckes assumed the role of the manager of the Spanish champions Real Madrid. While he failed to register any significant domestic success, he led the team to their first European Cup win since 1966. However, it was the lack of success in Spain that cost him the job.
Following his firing from Real Madrid, Heynckes took a year-long break from football. He returned as the coach for S.L. Benfica in Portugal and in 2001, went back to Bilbao for two years.
Heynckes returned to Bundesliga in 2003 and began his tenure with FC Schalke 04, whom he helped in winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2003 and 2004. In May 2006, Heynckes returned to his old club, Borussia Mönchengladbach. However, the homecoming proved to be a disappointing one for both the club and Heynckes as Mönchengladbach continued to have an abysmal season. On January 21, 2007, Heynckes resigned.
After two years of self-imposed retirement, Heynckes came back to serve as a caretaker manager for Bayern in 2009 and helped the team secure a place in the Champions League. Later that year, he was hired by Bayer Leverkusen as their manager. After completing a two-year tenure there, he returned to Bayern for the third time in 2011.
The 2012-13 season was the most successful one in Heynckes’ career. With him as the manager, Bayern won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, DFL-Supercup, and UEFA Champions League.
In 2013, he was named FIFA World Coach of the Year, IFFHS World's Best Club Coach, European Coach of the Year—Alf Ramsey Award, European Coach of the Season, German Football Manager of the Year, and World Soccer Awards Manager of the Year.
He retired once more in 2013 and returned again in 2017 for one season, leading Bayern to yet another Bundesliga victory. In 2018, Heynckes declined to continue as Bayern’s manager for one more season and finally drew his coaching career to a close.