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Name Ottmar Hitzfeld
Gender Male
Ethnic German
Job German Football Coach
Desc It’s a title bestowed upon you that is achieved through no less than total dedication, loyalty and a burning desire to give your heart and soul to the cause. Ottmar Hitzfeld earned legendary status, not once, but twice, with the two biggest clubs in German football. Firstly at Borussia Dortmund and then Bayern Munch, the man’s supreme marshalling of his troops ultimately meant he obliterated all the competition on a march towards the upper echelons of German football. Brushing aside those in his way, he won everything with Die Borussen, before eventually repeating the feat in Bavaria. On a one-way trajectory towards Bundesliga royalty, Hitzfeld now stands in a league of his own

Affiliation

Club as Coach Borussia Dortmund
  Bayern Munich

2015 10 11 Retrieve

[Legendary coach Ottmar Hitzfeld on turning down the chance to take charge at the Santiago Bernabeu] I turned down the chance to take charge of Real Madrid after we had won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund in 1997. I lost a fair bit of sleep over that decision. But in the end I thought ‘I will get fired before I even get the chance to learn Spanish’

2016 04 28 Retrieve

[Ottmar Hitzfeld slams Pep Guardiola over Thomas Muller drop] Muller is for Bayern what Messi is for Barcelona

2016 04 30 Retrieve

[Ottmar Hitzfeld says Mats Hummels move logical] To me, this would be a logical transfer - especially for Mats and Bayern. It would be a great acquisition for those in Munich. He can win trophies consistently, not only the Bundesliga, but he’ll have the chance to get the Champions League every year. Bayern would be attractive for Mats because he can play alongside Jerome Boateng and Manuel Neuer is in goal behind them

For BVB, it’s extremely bitter, because another top performer is leaving the team. Hummels was not simply a captain, he’s a leader, a role model, the head of the team

2017 01 17 Interview

[q: Ottmar Hitzfeld, do you think FC Bayern will run away with the title or will it be a tight race at the top?] Bayern play four of their next five league games away from home, while Leipzig play three of their next four at home, so I think it will still be tight for another few weeks. But Bayern will stay top of the league because overall they simply have more quality. Carlo Ancelotti experimented a lot in the first half of the season but he’ll know his favoured formation now. I’m convinced Bayern will only get better from now on

[q: ill Leipzig continue to cause a sensation?] I think Leipzig are the only side that can challenge Bayern this season, as the others are just too far off the pace now. I don’t think Leipzig will ‘do a Hoffenheim’ and fall away [TSG were top of the table at the halfway mark in 2008/09 but ended up finishing seventh] because this Leipzig team is very stable and solid. Experience plays a big part and it will be interesting to see how they react if they lose two or three games, but they have those home matches coming up so that should help them find their rhythm quickly

[q: Can Dortmund still finish above Leipzig?] I think BVB definitely have enough to finish in the automatic Champions League qualifying places, and that has to be their aim, but they’ve not met their expectations so far this season. They’ve had injuries but the squad is big enough to compensate for that – they’ve simply lost games and dropped points unnecessarily. I think they’re the only side that can challenge Leipzig [for second place]

[q: Hertha Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hoffenheim have all surprised us this season. Which team do you think has the best chance of finishing in the top four?] All three of them have played to their limits this season and I don’t think they’ll all be able to play so consistently well over the second half of the season. However, if I had to pick one, I’d say Frankfurt. They have a strong team, good variation in attack and it seems a more relaxed environment than at the other two clubs. Niko Kovac is also doing tremendous work as coach

[q: Can the traditionally bigger clubs like Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Schalke, Wolfsburg and Gladbach still qualify for the Champions League?] All of those clubs are under massive pressure after a weak Hinrunde, so if they suffer any setbacks, it will be very hard to compete for the European places. They can’t really afford to lose games, and I think it will be hard for them to produce top performances. But if I were to pick one of them, it would be Leverkusen. Again, the climate there seems to be calmer and more relaxed, which isn’t always the case for Schalke, while Gladbach and Wolfsburg are too far behind now

2017 01 19 Retrieve

[Ottmar Hitzfeld on replacing Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery] Bayern are already preparing for the future, but Robben and Ribery are guaranteed starters when they are fit. You cannot replace players like them from one day to the other. They are not only top players, but are also on another level

So the strategy should be to slowly build up the players behind them. Players like Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman are already playing regularly. They will have to step it up a notch. They were brought in to grow at Bayern. But you cannot expect them to just be at the same level as Robben and Ribery right away. Both are world-class attackers. They always have a solution on the pitch and their desire to keep going is impressive. Talent alone is not enough to become a world-class player. Bayern should be proud to have them on their books

2017 02 13 Retrieve

[Ottmar Hitzfeld on Arsene Wenger] I admire Arsene Wenger. I have nothing but huge respect for a coach which exposes himself to this amount of pressure at a top club for so many years on a daily basis, rebuilding the team every year. I could imagine that he will go on after this season. He’s still on fire. His biggest goal still is winning the Champions League. And I would like to see that happen to him

[Ottmar Hitzfeld on Thomas Tuchel] Borussia Dortmund managed to win their group ahead of Champions League holders Real Madrid. Tuchel’s tactics convinced me totally of his ability during these games. The match in Madrid was beautiful, and made his mark in Europe. He has the potential to be one of world’s best coaches one day

[Bayern vs Arsenal in the Champions League] The gap is not huge anymore, but Bayern is still the favourite as they have the better substance in players, the better bench. But Arsenal has stabilised. Bayern must not concede in the first match at home, what will be very difficult against Arsenal’s fast players. Their counter attacks are very hazardous for Bayern

2017 05 03 Retrieve

[Ottmar Hitzfeld says Bayern don’t need big-money signings at the momment] I do not believe that a major change will take place at Bayern. In attack they have a superstar in Lewandowski. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are getting older but are still at the absolute top level. If you buy world-class attacking players you only get someone who is going to make a fuss

2017 08 05 Retrieve

[Ottmar Hitzfeld speaks about the importance of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the club] He is the most important player at Borussia Dortmund. You could replace any player, but not Aubameyang! He makes up 20 per cent of Borussia Dortmund. He is omnipresent, he is a top striker, he creates chances out of impossible situations, he can also do things on his own, and is not only dependent on his team-mates

2017 09 26 Retrieve

[Ottmar Hitzfeld urges Bayern Munich to stick with Ancelotti amid mounting pressure] They have had bad results and at Bayern every game is going to be analysed and reported about. Ancelotti has kept calm. This shows his experience. He knows that we cannot be in top form on the first, second, third matchday, that would not be good, because when they then come to the important games in the Champions League, in about eight weeks’ time or next year then, it is not ideal to be in early [good] form

Ancelotti is a practitioner. He knows what is important, and he is also a trainer who rotates a lot, giving many players a chance to gather game practice and he knows how to use the [resources]. So, therefore, Ancelotti is a very good coach for me

The most important thing is always the Bundesliga and they have managed to win it with a clear lead. In the Champions League [last season] they were also a bit unlucky with Real Madrid

[Although Bayern trail Dortmund in the league after six matches, Hitzfeld expects a sixth successive Bundesliga title to end up in the trophy cabinet at Allianz Arena] Ancelotti will most likely again be German champion this year. And in the Champions League the hope is big, of course, to reach more than the quarter-finals. And I would say, to be in the semi-finals with Bayern, among the best four teams in the Champions League or in Europe, then the task has been fulfilled. This is a top value, Guardiola has always done that, and even [though] there was a bit of criticism about not reaching the finals… Ancelotti is still on a good [path]

2019 04 06 Retrieve

[Ottmar Hitzfeld offers a flattering comparison between the England youngster and the Bayern Munich star] [Jadon Sancho] is a gifted player, very fast, technically perfect, he always has a trick up his sleeves. He reminds me of the young Franck Ribery, who was also very tricky and going for goal as a young player. Sancho is like that and he also has the speed to make a name for himself in international football