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Klopp and Heynckes compared

Published: Sunday 19 May 2013, 11.00CET
Ahead of the final, looks at the differences and similarities between FC Bayern München coach Jupp Heynckes and Borussia Dortmund boss Jürgen Klopp.
by Steffen Potter
from Frankfurt
Klopp and Heynckes compared
Jürgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund) & Jupp Heynckes (FC Bayern München) ©Getty Images
Published: Sunday 19 May 2013, 11.00CET

Klopp and Heynckes compared

Ahead of the final, looks at the differences and similarities between FC Bayern München coach Jupp Heynckes and Borussia Dortmund boss Jürgen Klopp.

Jürgen Klopp and Jupp Heynckes are the masterminds, the tacticians and the personalities behind UEFA Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München. considers the two coaches' styles and discovers that despite differing backgrounds and characters, there are more similarities than you might think.

As a player, Heynckes was a successful German international, a speedy attacker who stands third in the all-time Bundesliga scoring charts, winning 39 caps, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship as well as domestic titles with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. Klopp's playing days were a different story. A no-nonsense defender, he spent his entire careeer in the second tier with 1. FSV Mainz 05.

Separated by 23 years, Heynckes and Klopp also have contrasting dispositions. Klopp is a volcanic presence on the touch line, ready to explode in joy or anger depending on events on the pitch. Though the man in the Dortmund dugout has an air of authenticity which has earned him plaudits, even he concedes his temper can take him by surprise. "Sometimes when I see myself acting like this on TV, I don't recognise myself," Klopp once said.

Heynckes, who turned 68 at the start of May, was viewed by many as an uptight coach until he took over at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2009. It was then he began to display the maturity and calm that have since attracted many more supporters. Heynckes has nothing to prove; he is a true gentleman who commands respect from players and staff.

The two bosses had a minor squabble after Bayern beat Dortmund 1-0 in this season's German Cup quarter-finals, but Klopp was quick to concede he had overstepped the mark by accusing his Munich counterpart of simply replicating BVB's title-winning tactics of 2011 and 2012. "Jürgen has always been fair – things can just slip out," said Heynckes.

With its emphasis on pressing, Bayern's 2012/13 template does have echoes of Dortmund's recent approach. "How have we been able to change the system?" asked Heynckes. "You know what I said about Javi Martínez before we signed him? In him, Dante and Mario Mandžukić, we signed three players predestined to play in such a way.

"It takes a while to convince the players that this is the only way. I have challenged the players on a daily basis, especially those who had to rethink. Franck Ribéry has never been as good as this season. Why? Because he now faithfully does his share of defensive work. The same goes for Arjen Robben."

At the back, Bayern rely on their defenders' pace and ability to reclaim possession, rather than employing an offside trap. Going forward, control of the ball is the key, while their outstanding wingers are always at the forefront of any attack.

Dortmund deploy a similar 4-2-3-1 formation, but their four most attacking players tend to do much of their work in central positions, creating space in wide areas for the full-backs to exploit.

©Getty Images

Mats Hummels in action against Ajax

Another important element to their play is centre-back Mats Hummels, who passes with great accuracy from quite high up the pitch. In Dortmund's opening group stage fixture this term, AFC Ajax effectively shut down the Schwarzgelben by targeting Hummels, and it took a late Robert Lewandowski penalty to separate the sides.

Dortmund have shown tactical flexibility on the continent and have now developed the capacity to drop a little deeper and focus on keeping possession when necessary. Klopp, however, remains intent on assuming the role of underdog ahead of the Wembley final: "If we win, we will not be the best team in the world – we will have beaten the best team in the world."

Last updated: 21/05/13 19.58CET

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