Niko Kovac named Bayern coach from 2018-19 season

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It also has an emotional boost: The German club announced on Friday that former player Croatian Niko Kovac will take over as coach next season from 72-year-old Jupp Heynckes, who is stepping down.

"We're very delighted we've secured the services of Niko Kovač as new FC Bayern head coach", said sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić.

"It's hard to get to this stage of the competition and that's eight years in a row we've done it", he said.

Heynckes called Kovac "ready for Bayern as he knows the club and has gained experience working for several clubs and the Croatian national team".

"It's disrespectful. We will not talk about it with Bayern now, but we will look for dialogue again in the near future".

His brother Robert, also a former Bayern player, will join him from Frankfurt as his assistant.

Under Kovac, Frankfurt have been one of the Bundesliga success stories of recent years, but the 46-year-old's inexperience has raised eyebrows.

"[Kovac's decision] surprised us, period, which is extremely important for Frankfurt", Bobic said.

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Liverpool may be the happiest team of the four after drawing the relative novices - but Roma proved in nullifying Barcelona that they will not be a team just along for the ride.

Former German worldwide Lothar Matthaeus regards Bayern as the favorite against Real as "they have developed an unbreakable team spirit and are determined to win the trophy".

Bayern Munich on their part only had to hold on to a goalless draw in the second leg against Sevilla, with a 2-1 first-leg away win enough to take them through.

"They will most likely make the Champions League this season, or if not at least qualify for Europe". "He does it excellently, so for sure he is predestined to become coach of Bayern Munich. I was really impressed", he said.

Gladbach opted to play on the counter-attack thereafter and Wagner punished their reluctance to get forward with a pair of strikes, the second of which Yann Sommer should have done more to keep out.

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Heynckes was only tempted out of retirement in order to help Bayern after they sacked Carlo Ancelotti last October.

It's an interesting contrast to a criticism frequently levelled at another candidate for the Bayern Munich job, Thomas Tuchel, whose man-management of some Borussia Dortmund players damaged team morale.