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Soccer

Heynckes takes a break as coach, leaves the door open for more

Outgoing Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has quashed speculation that he may return to Madrid, but he left the door open for future engagements. It comes after Bayern won its first ever treble with him as coach.

Heynckes had been linked with a return to Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, but the 68-year-old decided to call it a day and retire as coach - for now.

"First of all, I will go on holiday," he said at a keenly awaited news conference in Munich. "I will not take another engagement at home or abroad," he said, leaving it slightly vague whether he would return in another capacity for the sport at some point in the future.

Heynckes, who hails from the western German town of Mönchengladbach and played for the Bundesliga side there, won the 1998 Champions League with Madrid. The next day the club announced that they were replacing him as coach. Both times that the 68-year-old has won Europe's top competition, he also lost his job - this time with ex-Barcelona mastermind Josep 'Pep' Guardiola replacing him at Bayern.

Bayern won the first treble in club history in the past season, finishing a record-breaking Bundesliga campaign 25 points ahead of 2011 and 2012 winners Borussia Dortmund. In the Champions League final - Europe's top tier football competition which saw its first ever all German final this year - the Bavarian club beat Dortmund 2-1.

Bayern then defeated a spirited Stuttgart 3-2 in the German cup final on Saturday in Berlin.

Praise from Hoeness

At a news conference on Tuesday, Bayern President Uli Hoeness praised the 68-year-old, saying that he did "everything in his power to win [the treble]" and that the players "followed him blindly."

After winning the treble, which no German team has managed before, Heynckes emphasized Bayern's team effort. "The team gave themselves and myself a super-present. The treble is unique and it was built on team spirit. All the players worked for each other and stood united. I think there is more to come from this team and they have a great future lying ahead."

ng/kms (dpa, SID)

DW.DE