Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp on Saturday apologised to his Bayern Munich counterpart Jupp Heynckes for his "copycat" jibe in the wake of the holders' German Cup quarter-final defeat in midweek.
"The last thing I want to do is criticise a renowned colleague. Jupp Heynckes is an excellent coach," Klopp told German broadcaster ARD before Dortmund's 3-1 home win against Hanover 96 in the Bundesliga.
"If he thinks what I said refers to him, them I want to apolgise. So if you're listening to this, sorry Jupp."
He later told German Sky: "I just got chatting during one of the 100,000 press conferences we had in the last eight days.
"I do not begrudge Heynckes his success. We have no right to expect to be the first."
Klopp stirred the rivalry between Germany's top two clubs with some barbed comments after holders Dortmund were knocked out of the German Cup by Bayern's 1-0 quarter-final victory in Munich last Wednesday.
"At the moment, it is like what the Chinese are doing in industry: they look at what others do, copy them, and then with more money and players follow a similar path," Klopp had said.
"And then after that, you're better again."
With Dortmund having won the Bundesliga for the last two years, while Bayern last won silverware in May 2010, relations between Klopp and Heynckes have been cordial for the last two seasons.
But Heynckes was clearly irritated by Klopp's comments.
"Bayern have been round a bit longer than Jurgen Klopp has been a coach and we have always had our own style of play," said the 67-year-old on Friday.
"It's important to show how big you are in both defeat and victory," he added after Bayern broke their six-match winless streak against Dortmund in the cup game.