Bayern Munich confirm Niko Kovac as next coach on three-year deal

Adjust Comment Print

"Niko was a Bayern player and knows the people in charge, the structures and the DNA of the club very well", Salihamidzic said.

"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.

Outgoing Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes has insisted that looming newcomer Niko Kovac was "predestined" to manage the Bundesliga giants. Accordingly, few Germans know quite as well how to best Madrid in Europe - as Heynckes has already done once in 2012 when he led Bayern past Los Merengues on penalties in the semi-finals (having played the first leg at home). "We've convinced he's the right trainer for the future of FC Bayern".

Kovac will be joined at Bayern by his younger brother Robert as assistant coach.

The 46-year-old Kovac, who spent most of his playing career as a central midfielder in Germany, was a Croatian global and formerly guided the Croatian national team.

"We will have news in the next days", Salihamidzic said.

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

The emphatic victory leaves Bayern a massive 23 points clear in the table with second-placed Schalke hosting Borussia Dortmund on Sunday in the Ruhr derby.

But if they finish fifth, they would still finish in a Europa League spot.

The elder Kovac was also coach of the Croatian team with his brother as assistant manager.

From relegation danger to the Champions League? The German has gone on to lead Bayern to a sixth successive Bundesliga title, while he has the chance to win the treble (again) with upcoming semi-finals against Bayer Leverkusen (German Cup) and Real Madrid (Champions League).

Madrid were hardly convincing in the second leg against Juventus but Cristiano Ronaldo is unstoppable in this competition and I expect him to make the difference.

Bayern made it clear only German speakers would be considered for the role, meaning Kovac ticked a box many big-name coaches could not.

After former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel rejected an offer, announcing he will join a big European club overseas.

Reports broken by Bild in Germany suggested Bayern have selected Kovac to be the replacement for Jupp Heynckes when the veteran leaves the Bundesliga champions at the end of the season. And he worked with a lot of different personalities and nationalities at Frankfurt.