A league shaped by its players: Bundesliga legends who will fill new positions at their old clubs

Bundesliga legends
  • Berlin

As one door closes, another opens. Similarly, in the Bundesliga, as the 2019-20 season ends, there are several players entering a new chapter in their lives – many with new and exciting roles on the side-lines of the football pitch. Bundesliga clubs have a long history of looking out for their own and integrating former players into coaching and management positions.

Here are some examples of Bundesliga stars, who remained a part of the Bundesliga system after their playing careers and continue to shape their clubs and the league.

Oliver Kahn

In German football, there is no overlooking goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn. With FC Bayern München, Kahn won 23 trophies in total, including the Champions League in 2001, the UEFA Cup in 1996, and eight Bundesliga titles.

Kahn ended his playing career in 2008, after 20 years playing at the highest level, and is now actively shaping the future of the Bundesliga, as part of FC Bayern’s Leadership Board which he joined in January 2020.

A true leader on and off the pitch, Kahn is set to become the successor of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as Chairman and CEO in 2022.

Michael Zorc

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 29: Michael Zorc, director sports of Dortmund, reacts prior to the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund at BayArena on September 29 – 2018, in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images )

Born in Dortmund, Michael Zorc spent his whole senior playing career at Borussia Dortmund and was an integral part of one of the most successful eras in the club’s history. In his nearly 600 matches for the club, Dortmund was twice crowned Bundesliga champion and even won the UEFA Champions
League in 1997.

Right after Zorc’s retirement as a player in 1998, he became Director of Football at Dortmund. A true fixture at BVB, he steered the club through difficult times when bankruptcy threatened in the mid-2000s and has now established Dortmund as a hotbed for international talent.

No wonder BVB’s CEO Joachim Watzke was happy to recently announce another extension of his contract until 2022.

Arne Friedrich

Even though Arne Friedrich played for other clubs in Germany and the U.S., his heart always belonged to the “Old Lady” Hertha Berlin, the club he captained between 2004-2010.

In 2019, Friedrich answered the club’s call and rejoined as Performance Manager. Next season he will take on a new role as Sporting Director, continuing to share his experience and push forward Hertha’s ambitious
plans to develop a new Bundesliga powerhouse in the German capital.

Hansi Flick

Bundesliga legends

MUNICH, GERMANY – JUNE 20: Head coach Hansi Flick of FC Bayern München gestures during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and Sport-Club Freiburg at Allianz Arena on June 20 – 2020, in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images)

Hans-Dieter “Hansi” Flick has celebrated many successes throughout his career – both on and off the pitch. Many might initially think of his long-term role as Joachim Löw’s assistant with the German national team and his part in Germany’s 2014 FIFA World Cup success.

Others may think of FC Bayern
München clicking into gear and securing its eighth Bundesliga title on the trot after Flick took over as interim coach at the end of 2019.

The results speak for themselves: Flick is now tied to the club as head coach until 2023 and this year the treble is still within reach. Let’s not forget, however, that before all these successes as a coach, Flick was no stranger to winning as a player for FC Bayern.

Between 1985 and 1990, he won four Bundesliga titles with the Bavarians and appeared in more than 100 games. Looking at the current FC Bayern squad playing under him, Flick has every chance of continuing to bask in the glory of championship success for years to come.

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