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In profile: Udo Lattek

Abandoning the usual authoritarian style of coaching in Germany brought huge rewards for Udo Lattek, who transformed Bayern, and won all three major UEFA club trophies.

Udo Lattek won all three major UEFA club competitions
Udo Lattek won all three major UEFA club competitions ©Getty Images

The evidence
• Won a German-record eight Bundesliga titles as coach – six with Bayern München (plus three German Cups) and two with Borussia Mönchengladbach.

• Became the first coach to lead a German team to European Cup glory, with Bayern in 1973/74.

• Completed a European trophy treble by lifting the 1978/79 UEFA Cup with Mönchengladbach and 1981/82 European Cup Winners' Cup at Barcelona.

The expert testimony
"Udo could be hard as nails, but most of the time he was more of a pal. One time, he even had a drink with us players. He was like a 12th man."
Sepp Maier, former Bayern goalkeeper

"He channels all the aggression towards himself and the players are left in peace."
Paul Breitner, former Bayern player

"His name is very closely linked with Bayern's rise in the successful 1970s."
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, former Bayern player and now club chairman

"He was one of the most modern coaches in Europe and shaped football like only a few people since. You can only bow to his success."
Joachim Löw, Germany coach

"Udo Lattek was an outstanding football coach and a great person. He left big footprints as Barcelona coach."
Josep Guardiola, former Bayern coach

Lattek after winning the 1982 Cup Winners' Cup
Lattek after winning the 1982 Cup Winners' Cup©Getty Images

The back story
A farmer's son and never a great player, Lattek became a very outspoken and extremely successful coach, famously saying he had football to thank for everything in his life. Assistant to West Germany boss Helmut Schön at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, he established his reputation after taking over at Bayern in 1970, later thriving at Mönchengladbach and Barcelona – despite friction with Diego Maradona. Lost the 1987 European Cup final in a second Bayern spell and returned to coaching in 2000 for five matches to save Borussia Dortmund from relegation.

The method
Having trained as a teacher, Lattek had brilliant interpersonal skills, regardless of his outspoken manner, with his open style a huge contrast to the more authoritarian approach prevalent in German football. Though he was never a tactical innovator, his skill was to get players playing to the best of their abilities – so while his Bayern sides were attacking, his great days at Mönchengladbach were founded on a resilient defence. His role in nurturing young talents like Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner and Gerd Müller also helped make Bayern Germany's foremost club.

Lothar Matthäus was a Lattek discovery
Lothar Matthäus was a Lattek discovery©Getty Images

The take-home quotes
"When I see all the players laughing on a photo from training camp, that's suspicious to me. I have never seen a player who had to run until he threw up still smiling."

"You have to enjoy dealing with people."

"What coaches say in tactical sessions and what players do on the pitch often differs substantially."

"I have had to hurt a lot of people and sometimes I was not right to do so, but I can still look everyone I worked with in the eye. I still like to dish out, but I can also deal with what comes back."

"A coach always has to have the last say. I never allowed others to butt in. I kicked everyone out of my dressing room who tried."

"If I had asked Paul Breitner to walk through a wall, he would have said: 'Why should I? I can walk around it.' I never wanted yes-men."

Lattek celebrates Bayern's 1986/87 title success
Lattek celebrates Bayern's 1986/87 title success©Getty Images