Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sport | By

Kovac to succeed Heynckes as Bayern Munich coach

Kovac to succeed Heynckes as Bayern Munich coach

At the just concluded draws for the Champions League semi finals Real Madrid will face rivals Bayern Munich in a heavyweight contest. At this stage of the competition it's impossible that you don't suffer.

The Liverpool-Roma tie pits Mohamed Salah, who has scored 39 goals in all competitions already this season, against his former club.

Roma's quarterfinal achievement was even more impressive.

They won 4-2 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 in extra-time.

Roma is the weakest team on paper, but definitely not the easiest to beat. In the meantime, they are readying themselves for their new manager.

Those regulations were reiterated in April 2014 following controversy over the availability of Thibaut Courtois - then on loan at Atletico Madrid - to play against his parent club Chelsea in the Champions League. He said that "it has nothing to do with Fredi or me that things were made public the way it happened".

Asked about Eintracht Frankfurt coach Kovac's lack of managerial experience in the Champions League, Heynckes added: "He was a Champions League player himself and when I came to Munich in 1987 from Monchengladbach, I was very young and inexperienced". "Niko was a player at Bayern, he knows the characters, the structures and the DNA of the club very well".

But James' sporadic form during the first half of the season coincided with Ancelotti's failings in Germany - the Italian was relieved of his duties in September and James' Bayern future was suddenly thrown into doubt. Leading 3-0 from the first leg, they were expected to cruise into the final four. And in a one-off game against Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, Liverpool are a match for either.

However Madrid won the 1999/2000 fixture on a 3-2 aggregate and pulled a 5-0 scoreline in the 2013/14 season.

Real badly needs European success this year to compensate for its disappointing campaign in La Liga, where it sits in fourth place, a full 15 points behind leader and archrival Barcelona.

Putting the numbers to one side, close your eyes and images of some of the previous, colourful run-ins with Bayern start to emerge - many of which Madrid would rather forget...

Remarkably, Heynckes has never not reached the Champions League final as a coach - Bayern's 2012 defeat to Chelsea was his second; the Bavarians' win against Dortmund the following year the third - a run that began when in charge of Madrid back in 1998.

Having arguably lost out on their preferred candidates, Tuchel and RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl, Bayern have taken a gamble.

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