While the football world raised a toast to Bayern Munich’s six-pack of titles with the Fifa Club World Cup on Thursday night, not many would have noticed their low profile manager Hansi Flick’s valuable ‘double’ along the way.
The 55-year-old, who took charge of the Bavarian giants since November 2019, has now set a personal landmark: he became the first person to win both the Club World Cup and the Fifa World Cup as coach, having done so in 2014 as Joachim Lowe’s assistant.
“Congratulations to my team,” Flick said after the final. “They have completed a historical feat, they have won six titles in one season. Even for the successful club that is FC Bayern München, this was the most successful season ever. The team played outstandingly. The win was never in danger, we dominated and deservedly won the final.
Speaking to Fifa.com, the former Bayern Munich midfielder said: “It was very difficult for me as well, we were all at the limit, the same goes for me at the touchline. The match against Tigres was on eye-level, even though we dominated. They deserved to be in this final.”
While Flick has lifted the Bundesliga four times with Bayern and represented Germany at youth level, he never earned a senior cap for his country. He was recruited as assistant to Lowe after the 2006 World Cup and together he charted the roadmap for Germany ending their drought of titles in 2014.
A taciturn personality, Flick worked as an official at both the DFB and Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim before joining Bayern as Niko Kovac’s assistant for the 2019-20 season. When he succeeded Kovac as head coach in November 2019, it was the prelude to an unprecedented period of success, that included a 32-match unbeaten run in all competitions, as well as glory in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup, Uefa Champions League, Uefa Super Cup, DFL Supercup and now the Fifa Club World Cup.
Flick is believed to have radically changed Bayern’s game after taking over, laying greater intensity when pressing, a higher defensive line and, together with his staff, prepared his team in the best possible way for the final phase of the Champions League during the suspension of play caused by the pandemic.
“Right from the start, he created a very good atmosphere in the team and gave us a lot of confidence. We had the feeling we were unbeatable,” said Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich.
“It feels good to have the six pack - six titles in a row is something very special for us,” said Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who helped set up Benjamin Pavard’s match-winner against Tigres on Thursday night in Doha.
“I think this is one of the biggest achievements in football, how we played will be remembered for a long time.”
Since Flick took charge of Bayern in November 2019, the European champions have now lost just five games, giving him more titles than defeats as boss. It will take some doing to beat that record now.
Flick as Bayern Munich manager
Won six trophies including the treble in his first season
85% win record
Averaging a title every 11 games
Uefa Men’s Coach of the Year
More trophies (6) than defeats (5)