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Hitzfeld´s pleased to hand winning team to Klinsmann

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 5 May 2008


Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld says he is looking forward to handing his replacement Jurgen Klinsmann a championship-winning team after capturing the Bundesliga title at the weekend.

Bayern were finally confirmed as champions on Sunday after their 0-0 draw at VfL Wolfsburg.

Hitzfeld, who is leaving to coach the Swiss national side, will hand over control to Klinsmann, who guided Germany to third at the 2006 World Cup, when he takes over as head coach on July 1.

“It's been a unique season, because expectations were so high,” said Hitzfeld after the club spent 69 million euros (100 million US dollars) last summer to recruit a league-winning side.

“The club spent heavily, so the pressure was immense, but winning the league makes it all worthwhile.

“I'm delighted for the club, because we're back to where we belong as number one in Germany.

“And I'm also pleased I'll be handing Jurgen Klinsmann a great team.

“This team is capable of mixing it right at the top again next season.”

General manager Uli Hoeness has promised a big party when the season ends on May 17 with Bayern hosting Hertha Berlin at Munich's Allianz Arena and the celebrations at winning their 21st crown as German champions can begin.

After the bitter disappointment of last Thursday's UEFA Cup exit in St Petersburg when they were hammered 4-0, Bayern picked up the precious point they needed in Wolfsburg missing several of their first-choice team.

“It's been a fantastic season,” said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“The team has achieved great things and we're very satisfied.”

Bayern splashed out last summer by recruiting the likes of Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni, French midfielder Franck Ribery and Germany striker Miroslav Klose.

The team has won the German Cup, German League Cup and now the Bundesliga title this season – only the UEFA Cup eluded them.

“I think Bayern deserve the title,” said club president Franz Beckenbauer.

“They've led the league since the opening day, and that doesn't happen very often.

“A lot of money was spent on new players, but it's paid off, thank the Lord!”

But Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel admitted the side were lacklustre in Wolfsburg.

“We weren't good against Wolfsburg, but we deserve it based on the season as a whole,” said van Bommel, with captain Oliver Kahn, Ribery, Klose and defender Philipp Lahm all missing with injury.

“We came here without five, six or seven regulars.

“There was just a short period before Christmas when we didn't play well, but otherwise we've been outstanding.”

Bayern now play Arminia Bielefeld, Duisburg and Hertha Berlin before the season finishes on May 17.


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