Will Dortmund Spoil Heynckes' Last Hurrah?

Saturday's game is more than a battle to be the best in Europe. It's a clash between two different faces of Germany - working class Dortmund and upscale Munich- and managers whose attitudes toward the game are generations apart.

So much in fact that the Frankfurter Allegemeineestimates that 60,000 German fans will travel to Wembley to witness the first all-Bundesliga final in the history of the UEFA Champions League.

But Saturday's game is more than a battle to be the best in Europe. It's a clash between two different faces of Germany - working class Dortmund and upscale Munich- and managers whose attitudes toward the game are generations apart.

Whether the Heynckes retirement is a charade remains to be seen. He's already being buzzed up as a choice to replace Mourinho who is under fire at Real Madrid.

Josef "Jupp" Heynckes started playing professionally at age 18 in 1963, the year the Bundesliga was born. Players earned a pittance. Today, half a century later, as manager of FC Bayern Munich, he's earning an estimated five million Euros per year.

Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp was a five-year-old youngster in 1972 when Heynckes played on West Germany's World Cup winning team.

Klopp, who earns 1.2million Euros, less than half of what Heynckes makes, has a degree in physical education and his training methods rely on cutting edge computer technology. Dortmund employs a cage-like virtual reality training environment called the Footbonaut to sharpen the passing and decision making skills of its players.

Retiring as a player in 1977 Heynckes embarked on one of the most successful, and most mercenary managerial careers in the history of FIFA football.

His playbook steeped in the German-style total football tradition that developed in Holland and revolutionized the game, Heynckes has made stops at Borussia Moenchengladbach, Bayern Munich, Teneriffe, Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt, Benfica Lisbon, Athletico Bilbao, Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen and did a stint running Germany 's national team.

In spite of Heynckes iconic status as a winner, his personality and methods have sparked a series of red faced rows with owners, players and media. He has been sacked by Munich, Real Madrid and Frankfurt and the partings weren't always cordial.

Klopp, in contrast, has shown a modicum of loyalty. He's never been a high profile job hopper like Heynckes. He played second division Bundesliga football for only one team, Mainz 05, and has coached just two, Mainz 05 for six years and Borussia Dortmund since 2008.

The tall, laid back Klopp is part of a new breed of German managers like national team coach Joachim Loew who have never been superstars and are bringing a new vision to the game that mirrors the new multicultural Germany.

Klopp's coaching magic started in 2001 in Mainz, a city of 200,000 that is capital of Germany's wine producing Rheinland-Pfalz state and just 25 miles from financial center Frankfurt. He had already been playing there for eleven years and with his academic background team directors bet on him having the right stuff.

Hosting one of Germany's biggest and most colorful Carnivals, Mainz had more of a reputation as a party town than a football town but Klopp changed that, taking Mainz 05 into the first division Bundesliga.

His first year on the job at Borussia Dortmund, 2008, Klopp won the German Supercup, defeating a Bayern Munich side managed by Jurgen Klinsmann. He also managed Dortmund to back-to-back Bundesliga championships in 2010 and 2011.

Although Heynckes has experience on his side he has never been characterized by Kicker, and other German sports media as a true players coach. Klopp has been successful bonding with Dortmund's old school fan base and lives in the same neighborhood as many of his players.

Borussia is the only publicly held team in the Bundesliga which means fans can put their money where their mouth is and become shareholders.

On the eve of the big game recent developments require Klopp to take his skillsets to the next level and keep his team motivated.

In spite of Klopp saying it is not now a topic, Polish star Robert Lewandowski, who hat tricked Real Madrid out of the Champions competition, while having one more year on his Dortmund contract, is rumored to be moving to Bayern Munich. Klopp has already aggressively denied reports that Lewandowski will move to Manchester United to fill out manager David Moyes wish list.

Midfeld wunderkind Mario Goetze, who will transfer to FC Bayern Munich next season on a 37.5 million Euro deal, is out of the game with a hamstring problem.

Klopp has a track record of being successful against Bayern teams. But the distractions and psychological impact of the business of football may take their toll on the Wembley pitch.


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