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Football: Heynckes foresees Bayern domination

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Outgoing manager Jupp Heynckes said Bayern Munich were ready to launch a "new era" of European success under his successor Pep Guardiola after victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final.

Heynckes will step down at the end of the season, having become only the fourth coach to win the trophy with two different clubs after Arjen Robben snatched a 2-1 victory at Wembley Stadium on Saturday with a last-gasp 89th-minute winner.

The 68-year-old, who triumphed in the 1997-98 competition with Real Madrid, follows in the footsteps of Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld -- a winner with both Bayern and Dortmund -- and Jose Mourinho.

With Heynckes having led Bayern to a nigh-on flawless campaign in this season's Bundesliga, in which the Bavarians dropped only 11 points, Guardiola's chances of improving the team seem almost impossible.

It has raised hopes among supporters that the club can establish a period of success to rival their three consecutive European Cup triumphs of the mid-1970s.

Bayern have already secured the services of Dortmund playmaker Mario Goetze for next season and Heynckes strongly hinted that his team-mate, the Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, was also close to agreeing a move.

"My successor will of course be able to take over a perfectly functioning team," Heynckes said.

"We know Mario Goetze will be joining and I don't think Lewandowski will be hanging about too much either, and then of course you've got two top attackers as well.

"(Chairman) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has played a big part in this last summer in completing the team with the risky transfer of Javi Martinez -- I mean risky in terms of the price tag, not the quality of the player -- and Xherdan Shaqiri, and Dante.

"All the players have been bullseye successes. Of course FC Bayern will have to prove they can continue to achieve these things.

"But it's quite possible that a new era in Europe may be beginning under FC Bayern."

Bayern's success ended their 12-year wait for Europe's top prize and took their overall tally to five trophies, putting them joint-third with Liverpool on the all-time list.

Club president Uli Hoeness echoed Heynckes's thoughts, commending him on "an exceptionally good job" and asserting his belief that "Bayern are set up well, both sportingly and economically, for the future".

Heynckes lavished praise on the players who have broken new ground for Bayern this season, a year on from their agonising defeat on penalties by Chelsea in the final at their own Allianz Arena home.

"Two finals in succession, quite apart from the fact we won, it's a huge success and incredibly difficult," he said.

"And the way we did it this year, playing against Juventus, who'd won the (Italian) title twice in a row, against Arsenal, and against Barcelona, who up to that point were the best team in the world.

"This season has been an outstanding one for FC Bayern. In the whole history of the Bundesliga, there's been no team that's played such a consistent season at such a high level, with a 25-point winning margin, breaking almost all the records in the Bundesliga.

"We have a team spirit, an ability to work together, which I've never experienced before.

"We have 22 to 23 top-class professionals, all of whom are perfectly capable of playing in the first team and all of whom pulled their weight.

"Not one of them fell by the wayside or was dissatisfied or didn't accept what I'd decided, and when you've got such high-calibre players, it's pretty incredible."

After celebrations in London, Bayern's thoughts will turn to Saturday's German Cup final against Stuttgart, when victory would complete an unprecedented treble of trophies in German football.

"After the success we've had today, it will give us wings, inspire us," Heynckes said.

"We've worked incredibly hard for it, so the players should really let their hair down now. And then from Tuesday, we'll prepare again for the cup final."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130601/football-heynckes-foresees-bayern-domination