Dhe second career of Hasan Salihamidzic at Bayern came about quite accidentally far from Munich in Asia. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeneß spent a lot of time together on a PR tour by the German football champions with games in China and Singapore in the summer of 2017. They had been looking for a way out of the cul-de-sac for the position of sports director for a long time. The solution that astonished everyone was finally found on site in the former Bayern professional Salihamidzic, who was there three years ago as the club’s brand ambassador in the Far East.
“Emergency solution? I don’t feel that way at all, ”said Salihamidzic a few days later back in Munich at his presentation on the last day of July 2017. After a“ walk through the steel pool ”(Hoeneß), the Bosnian climbed to the sports board this Wednesday. The supervisory board of the German industry leader decided on the promotion last December. Salihamidzic is “the right man to shape and take responsibility for the sporting future of FC Bayern,” said Herbert Hainer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
“Every day for FC Bayern”
The position of the sports director has not been filled since Matthias Sammer left in 2016. Salihamidzic sees his appointment, which was officially carried out this Wednesday, as “honor”. He did it again. He showed it again to everyone who doubted him. Just like in 1998, when he switched from Hamburger SV to FC Bayern as a talent at the age of 21. Back then, too, Brazzo, as his Bosnian nickname is, was underestimated. The “little boy” fought hard for a place in the Munich star ensemble and was 2001 Champions League winner.
From management beginner to board member – this is the next steep climb, even if it was rocky again. Salihamidzic started as a compromise solution between the Munich alpha animals Rummenigge, who had previously unsuccessfully embraced the former captain Philipp Lahm, and Hoeneß, who rather flirted with Gladbach’s maker Max Eberl as sports director. Brazzo, the “boy”, then took up the position of sports director with a promise that he should come close to. He would be there for Bavaria and the team “24 hours, seven days a week”.
Initially, it was difficult for him to develop a profile, especially in the external image. But he had learned to be a fighter early in life. “As a child, I experienced the war and had to leave my home country of Bosnia, my family.” Something like that shapes people.
Hoeneß and Rummenigge had to repeatedly defend the man of their choice against external criticism. “He is a young person – and there is no university to prepare you for training as a sports director. You have to jump into the water – and swim without tires from day one, ”said Rummenigge at the end of last year.
„Next Generation“ im Management
Salihamidzic proudly names his ever-growing “area of responsibility”: “Professionals, young talents, management planning, all function teams, scouting, transfer market, development of data analysis.” “The tasks don’t change much,” he says. The board meetings would add, “a little more responsibility”. The person’s perception could change most easily.
The 43-year-old sees himself as the “next generation” in the management of the record champion with the designated chief executive Oliver Kahn (51). Hoeneß (68) retired from the presidency at the end of 2019, the 64-year-old Rummenigge will vacate the chairmanship of the board for successor Kahn at the end of 2021. “We have a very good relationship with each other,” emphasizes Brazzo. The goalkeeper Kahn and the striker Salihamidzic spent nine years together in the Bayern jersey. The crowning glory was winning the 2001 Champions League in Milan. This results in the new leitmotif that Salihamidzic prefers to formulate in this way. “We also want to win the Champions League together in a suit.”
Maybe it’ll work out in August at the final tournament in Lisbon. Before that, the next DFB Cup win in Berlin against Bayer Leverkusen is to be celebrated on Saturday. It would be the second double in three Salihamidzic years as sports director.
As a sports director, he has to shape the future together with the colleagues around Rummenigge and Kahn – and that in difficult corona times. After Carlo Ancelotti and Niko Kovac, Hansi Flick is the third coach in Salihamidzic’s career. And Flick has clear ideas, including on transfer and personnel issues.
Salihamidzic is measured by their implementation, tops and flops. The 19-year-old Canadian Alphonso Davies was his biggest hit. The youth work on the Bavaria campus is bearing fruit. A change of million from international Leroy Sané from Manchester City back to the Bundesliga could increase his reputation as a buyer. This Wednesday, he said: “We are in very good discussions with the management of Leroy Sané and of course Manchester City, I can confirm that. But now we all have to be patient a little. ”The controversial transfer-free commitment of Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nübel was also his work. “It is not easy to strengthen our team,” says Salihamidzic. His own path from sports director to sports director of Bayern was also not easy.