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Best Bayern Munich managers of all time

Thu 21 October 2021 | 5:30

Like all the other well-known football clubs, Bayern Munich also owes its success to the many brilliant managers who helped the club to get this far during its history. But who are these great managers?

Bayern Munich is with no doubt one of the greatest clubs, with many football fans in every generation all around the world. Thinking about Bayern, no matter being a fan or not, we all remember many great moments all through the history of the German club.

There are many people making this much of success possible and of course, we all agree that the managers have played an essential part in this case along with the team’s great players.

From Udo Lattek to Hansi Flick, the Bavarians have had many great managers all through history, with some more distinguished names.

But who are these people? That is the question to be answered in this article today. Stay tuned to find out more about

Bayern Munich

best managers of all time.

Greatest Bayern Munich managers of all time

Time to go through the list of the best Bayern Munich managers ever.

Udo Lattek

  • Full name:

    Udo Lattek

  • Nationality:

    Germany

  • Date of birth:

    16 January 1935

  • Date of death:

    31 January 2015

  • Teams coached:

     Bayern Munich, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, 1. FC Köln, Schalke 04

The first name on our list of the

best Bayern Munich managers of all time

is Udo Lattek. Back in 1965, at the age of 30, the great Bayern Munich coach started his job as an assistant coach to Helmut Schon in Germany national team. Just five years later he joined Bayern Munich to become one of the team’s all-time greatest coaches, and shortly after, he took European football by storm. During his five seasons with the Bavarians, Lattek won five titles including a European Cup in 1974.

In addition to his successful time with the German champions, Lattek also had a successful journey with Borussia Mönchengladbach as he won two consecutive league titles and a UEFA Cup in 1979 with the club. His next destination was Barcelona, where he was blessed by having Maradona on his side. Two years later he returned to Germany to join Bayern Munich once more where he won five more domestic trophies.

Jupp Heynckes

  • Full name:

    Josef "Jupp" Heynckes

  • Nationality:

    Germany

  • Date of birth:

    9 May 1945

  • Teams coached:

    Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich, Athletic Bilbao, Eintracht Frankfurt, Tenerife, Real Madrid, Benfica, Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich (caretaker),Bayer Leverkusen

Next on our list of the

best Bayern Munich managers ever

is one of the most famous managers in the world, Jupp Heynckes.

Already spending so much time with Monchengladbach as a player, he joined the team after his retirement once more to be the coach this time!

He first served Borussia Mönchengladbach as an assistant and then as a manager, succeeding Udo Lattek in this position in 1979 at age 34.

In 1987

Heynckes

joined Bayern Munich to become one of the team’s greatest coaches ever. During his 39 years of coaching career, the legendary coach helped Bayern in 4 different periods of time to earn many titles and achievements. Heynkes left Bayern in 1992 to join Athletic Bilbao. In 1997 Heynckes was appointed as the head coach of Real Madrid and won the club’s first UCL title after more than three decades. He came back to Bayern in 2009 to be the team’s caretaker for one month, but later joined Bayer Leverkusen where he spent the next two years. However, that was not the end for Heynckes and the Bavarians as he joined the team once more in 2013, coaching the team for the next two years. But then there was another departure! Can you believe that?! 

On 4 June 2013, Heynckes announced he would not coach a team during the 2013–14 season as he was ready for some peace and quiet. He was replaced by Pep Guardiola, who coached the team till 2016, before entrusting the team to Carlo Ancelotti.

Not much later, on 6 October 2017, Heynckes was appointed Bayern Munich manager once more, and Carlo Ancelotti was dismissed. Interesting! Huh?!

Eventually, Heynckes was retired at the end of the 2017–18 season, but his name will of course be remembered forever!

During his career, Heynckes managed 1,265 matches in all competitions and in three leagues. Four Bundesliga titles, the 2012–13 DFB-Pokal title, three DFL-Supercups, and the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League are the titles Bayern could achieve thanks to the great coach.

Time to move on to the next name on our list of the

best Bayern Munich managers of all time

. Ready?

Ottmar Hitzfeld

  • Full name:

    12 January 1949

  • Nationality:

    Germany

  • Date of birth:

    12 January 1949

  • Teams coached: 

    SC Zug, Aarau, Grasshoppers, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Switzerland

The next well-known name on our list is

Ottmar Hitzfeld

. Also known as the General, the German coach started his career in Switzerland instead of Germany. Eight years later and with seven domestic titles in his resume, the great coach went back to his homeland in 1991 to take charge of Dortmund. There, he won five titles including two Bundesliga titles and a UEFA Champions League title in 1997. Hitzfeld’s next destination was Bayern Munich where he spent the next six years. He was sacked from the team in 2004 but then in 2007 received another offer to join the Bavarians. On 1 February 2007, following the sacking of Felix Magath, he returned to Bayern Munich. Overall, Ottmar Hitzfeld has helped the Bundesliga champions to win five Bundesliga, three DFB-Pokal, four DFB-Ligapokal, and one Intercontinental Cup titles, while he has also been the one to lead the team to win the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League.

Dettmar Cramer

  • Full name:

    Dettmar Cramer

  • Nationality:

    Weimar Republic

  • Date of birth:

    4 April 1925

  • Date of death:

    17 September 2015

  • Teams coached:

    Japan (technical advisor), West Germany (assistant), Egypt, United States, Hertha BSC, Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt, Al-Ittihad, Aris Salonika, Bayer Leverkusen, Malaysia, South Korea U-23 (technical advisor), Thailand

The next name on our list of the best Bayern Munich managers of all time is Dettmar Crame, AKA the Football Professor, as he paid too much attention to the details.

Interestingly Carmer didn’t have a professional career as a football player, but instead, he was a sports journalist in German media.

He started his coaching career when he felt that he has to be closer to the pitch, and so he quitted his job to become one of the greatest German coaches ever years later.

The beginning of his coaching career was in Japan, where he served as the team’s technical advisor. It is interesting to know that thanks to Carmer’s effort, Japan had an extraordinary run at the Olympics and managed to beat Argentina and knock them out from the group stage during his spell. Cramer also had a huge role in building a coaching infrastructure in Japanese football which helped the country to develop coaches and players since then.

But here we want to take a look at the Professor’s coaching career with the Bavarians.

Back in 1998, Hitzfeld joined Bayern Munchen where he won the league by a 15-point margin and was the runners-up in DF-Pokal and Uefa Champions League. 2010-2011 was the most successful year of his career when he won the treble for Bayern Munchen, beating the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Valencia on the way to glory in the Champions League.

Hansi Flick

  • Full name:

    Hans-Dieter Flick

  • Nationality:

    West Germany

  • Date of birth:

    24 February 1965

  • Teams coached: 

    Victoria Bammental, 1899 Hoffenheim, Germany (assistant), Bayern Munich (assistant), Bayern Munich, Germany

Time to talk about

Hansi Flick

, one of the most beloved German coaches worldwide and the next on our list of the

best Bayern Munich managers of all time

.

Currently serving the Germany national team, Flick's managerial career began in 1996 as player-manager of Viktoria Bammental, which was playing in the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg at that time.  Having the experience of coaching Hoffenheim and Germany national team as an assistant, Flick joined Bayern Munich on 1 July 2019 as an assistant coach, to work under the supervision of Niko Kovač. After the departure of Kovač, Flick was promoted to the interim manager position, and interestingly in his first match as the team’s coach, he helped the Bavarians to beat Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League group stage with a 2-0 result. 

His successful period as the interim manager earned him the position as the head coach. He signed another contract in 2020, lasting until 2023. Flick has with no doubt been one of the Bavarian's greatest coaches of all time. During his managerial period Bayern added two Bundesliga titles, the 2019–20 DFB-Pokal, the 2020 DFL-Supercup, the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League, the 2020 UEFA Super Cup, and the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup to its brilliant history.

However, before the end of his contract, the glorious manager announced that he wanted to leave the Bundesliga champions, wishing to coach the German national football team.

During his short period with Bayern Munich Flick won seven trophies (Bundesliga twice, DFB-Pokal, Champions League, DFL-Supercup, UEFA Supercup, Club World Cup), while he interestingly helped the team to lose just seven games! Amazing! Huh?!

Louis van Gaal

  • Full name:

    Aloysius Paulus Maria van Gaal

  • Nationality:

    Netherlands

  • Date of birth:

    8 August 1951

  • Teams coached: 

    Ajax, Barcelona, Netherlands, AZ, Bayern Munich, Manchester United

The next name on our list of the

top Bayern Munich managers of all time

is the Dutch football manager and former player who is the current head coach of the Netherlands national team, van Gaal.

Serving as the manager of Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United, he has also three spells in charge of the Netherlands national team in his resume.

Referred as the "Iron Tulip”, Van Gaal has been one of the most successful managers during the 30 years of his coaching services, being one of the most decorated managers in world football, having won 20 major honors in his managerial career. 

As one of the

most successful Bayern Munich managers of all time

, Van Gaal joined the Bavarians on 1 July 2009. Believe it or not, he was not the perfect coach at the beginning with only one of his first four matches to end up with a victory. The failures were so much that many thought Van Gaal will be sacked from Bayern earlier than his predecessor Jürgen Klinsmann.

However, he was the coach to build his team from the ground and so he kept insisting that his team needs time to play the way he imagines.

Eventually, his efforts and reformations paid off and Bayern’s glory days came back.

During Van Gaal’s era with the Bavarians, the team achieved many titles and awards including the 2009–10 Bundesliga, the 2009-10 DFB-Pokal, and the 2010 DFL-Supercup.

Zlatko Cajkovski

  • Full name:

    Zlatko "Čik" Čajkovski

  • Nationality:

    Croats and Slovenes

  • Date of birth:

    24 November 1923

  • Date of death:

    27 July 1998

  • Teams coached:

    1. FC Köln FC, Bayern Munich, Hannover 96, Kickers Offenbach, NK Dinamo Zagreb, 1. FC Nürnberg, Kickers Offenbach, AEK Athens, FC Zürich, FC Grenchen, Grazer AK, AEK Athens, Apollon Kalamarias

Counting down the list, Zlatko Cajkovski is the next name on our list of the Best Bayern Munich managers of all time. Also a great player, Čajkovski learned his coaching skills under the supervision of Hennes Weisweiler at the German Sports Academy in Cologne. At the 1962 German Championship, where he was in charge as 1. FC, he earned his chance to be recognized.

In 1963 he took over Bayern Munich and guided them from the second division into the first division.

During his five years with the Bavarians, he helped the team to achieve two DFB-Pokal titles in 1965–66 and 1966–67, in addition to the 1966–67 European Cup Winners' Cup.

You should also know that the Bayern Munich super team, which we all know of, was formed during Cajkovski’s time as he shaped his team around the goalkeeper Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer, and, the later legendary, striker Gerd Müller.

Time to go through the next name on our list of the top Bayern Munich managers of all time. Ready?

Pep Guardiola

  • Full name:

    Pep Guardiola

  • Nationality:

    Spanish

  • Date of birth:

    January 18, 1971

  • Teams coached:

    Barcelona B, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City

Coming to the three last brilliant coaches on our list of the best Bayern Munich managers of all time, here we are with one of the best football coaches worldwide,

Pep Guardiola

.

Regarded as a key member of Johan Cruyff's Barcelona Dream Team, as a player, he upgraded his mentor's philosophy of the game into a new system of total football, as a coach.

He started his coaching career Barcelona B team, later taking the lead of the main team. 

During his four years at the Camp Nou, he guided the team to win three La Liga titles, 2 Copa del Reys, three Supercopa de España titles, two UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, two FIFA Club World Cups. Brilliant! Huh?!

In 2013 he got in charge of Bayern Munich and that is where our story begins.

In January 2013 Guardiola took over as manager of Bayern Munich, replacing Jupp Heynckes. The next three years were outstanding thanks to the great current Manchester City coach. From 2013 till 2016 the Bavarians added three more Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals, the 2013 UEFA Super Cup, and the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup to their long history of achievements, under Guardiola’s leadership!

Ready for the next coach on our list of the most successful Bayern Munich managers of all time?

Felix Magath

  • Full name:

    Wolfgang Felix Magath

  • Nationality:

    West Germany

  • Date of birth:

    26 July 1953

  • Teams coached:

    Hamburger SV, 1. FC Nürnberg, Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt, VfB Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, VfL Wolfsburg, Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg, Fulham, Shandong Luneng

Remembered by his notable spell at Hamburger SV, he quitted his playing career in 1986. Working as different teams’ general manager, in 1995 he started his coaching career by joining his former club, Hamburger SV. Coaching four more teams till 2004 with many achievements, Magath was chosen as the Bayern Munich manager on 1 July 2004.

His first season with the Bavarians was so impressive, as he led the team to win the 2004-05 Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal title, in addition to the 2004 DFB-Ligapokal. Together they later won the 2005–06 Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal titles.

It also has to be mentioned that Magath is famous for his strong disciplined coaching methods.

Branko Zebec

  • Full name:

    Branislav Zebec

  • Nationality:

    Kingdom of Yugoslavia

  • Date of birth:

    17 May 1929

  • Date of death:

    26 September 1988

  • Teams coached:

     Dinamo Zagreb, Bayern Munich, VfB Stuttgart, Hajduk Split, Eintracht Braunschweig, Hamburger SV, Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt, Dinamo Zagreb

And here we are with the last great coach on our list of the

greatest Bayern Munich managers of all time

, Branko Zebec.

The Croatian footballer and manager is absolutely one of the most memorable names in the history of Yugoslavia. He started his coaching career by joining Dinamo Zagreb in 1966, later leading teams such as Hajduk Split, Bayern Munich, and Hamburger SV to great success.

He joined Bayern Munich in 1968. Back in that time, Bayern was already benefiting from the presence of superstars such as the young Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller, but with the arrival of the new coach, things changed a bit, as he curbed the offensive style of the team and reinforced the defense. The new formation worked and paid off soon, as the team won the German championship in his first season after 37 years.

During his 2 year spell with the Bavarians, the great coach helped the team to win the 1968-69 Bundesliga title and the 1969 DFB-Pokal.

That was all on our article of the best Bayern Munich managers of all time. Who do you think has to be added to this list? Let us know in the comment section below. 

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