Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was completely at peace with himself and his world. "It's the most strategically sensible and logical time," said the CEO at the beginning of June 2021 about his early departure from FC Bayern, adding that the club was "excellently positioned with Hainer, Kahn, Salihamidzic and Nagelsmann."
Now, just two years later, three of the four named have been dismissed – and Rummenigge is making a sensational comeback alongside his old friend and opponent Uli Hoeness. True to the motto: "Back to the Future".
"I had the great fortune and honour to celebrate many successes with this club," said Rummenigge after his election to the powerful supervisory board on Tuesday. This is one of the reasons why he is "happy to comply" the committee's request for his return. Rummenigge's "experience, his expertise and his international network will help us enormously to ensure that FC Bayern continues to be successful in the future," stressed president Herbert Hainer, the last "survivor" of the supposed renewal quartet of 2021.
For Lothar Matthäus, the comeback of the long-time leader is "great news. For the past two years, I've been saying regularly that Kalle misses the club more than anyone else," wrote the record-breaking international in his Sky column about the "man of the world". Hoeneß had "created the club, but Kalle represented it like no other," he stressed.
In the ever-tense force field of the two alpha males, FC Bayern grew into the undisputed German industry leader. Now, after a decade of crushing dominance, this status was suddenly massively threatened, they are coming back – with a vengeance!
Hoeneß pulled the strings in the dirty separation of CEO Oliver Kahn with buddy Hainer. With his international network - he still sits on the executive committee of UEFA and the club association ECA - Rummenigge is expected to help build the team of the future. At the time of his Servus 2021, he was still looking forward to "the first summer vacation without transfer phone calls" with his wife Martina on Sylt.
In the future, Rummenigge will have the mobile phone permanently on his ear again. In close consultation with coach Thomas Tuchel, he will set the course for the squad in the next few days. Especially since the search for a successor to sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is "difficult", as Hainer admitted. According to Hoeneß, without whom nothing will be decided in the new, old Bayern world, the record champions want to take their time until Christmas if necessary.
At first, Hoeneß probably thought aloud about a role model for fans like Bastian Schweinsteiger or Arjen Robben. A club icon who could strengthen the "Mia san mia", which has crumbled in the permanent quarrel. But FC Bayern cannot afford a novice like Kahn in this delicate phase, Hainer has announced "a great caliber".
Max Eberl fits the profile and, as a former Bayern professional, would serve the Hoeneß folklore. However, Eberl could "definitely not bring about a departure from Leipzig after only six months," Matthäus said: "Then he'll be down with pretty much everyone in the football industry." For the alternative, Frankfurt's Markus Krösche, FC Bayern, on the other hand, is "perhaps a size too big".