MUNICH: Jupp Heynckes said Monday that love for Bayern Munich, rather than any personal ambition, had lured him out of retirement for a fourth stint at the helm of the Bavarian giants.
The man who left the club in 2013 after leading them to the treble, making way for Pep Guardiola, on Monday stepped into the position vacated by Carlo Ancelotti, said his advanced age would be no obstacle.
"Some people are old at 45, others young at 70, I'm one of the latter," said the 72-year-old who takes a caretaker role until June 2018.
"I owe Bayern a great deal," said Heynckes, a close personal friend of the club's iconic president Uli Hoeness and who coached the team on three previous occasions: 1987-1991, 2009 and 2011-2013.
"Without them I might never have gone to Real Madrid and won the Champions League with them," he added of his 1998 triumph in landing Real's first European Cup for 22 years.
"This is no personal ambition, I had no intention of coming back. It's not for me, it's for Bayern, this gives them the time to choose the right person," he explained.
Ancelotti was sacked following a run of three games without a win, including the 3-0 Champions League debacle against Paris Saint-Germain and giving up a 2-0 lead twice.
Trailing five points behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, the Bayern board swung the axe.
Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge described Heyneckes as 'the ideal coach for Bayern'.
Top of his to-do list will be to take control of the dressing room that was rebelling against Ancelotti and to project that into a more cohesive tactical approach on the pitch.
One of his major challenges will be to get Thomas Muller ticking again after the culb favourite looked unhappy in Ancelotti's 4-2-3-1 system.