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- Hansi Flick has led FC Bayern To Munich FIFA Club World Cup
- 2014 World Cup winner as assistant coach, 2020 triumph as head coach
- Very influential in the 2014 World Cup
By winning the FIFA Club World Cup final, Hansi Flick not only made history with FC Bayern Munich by matching Barcelona’s record of six titles. He also put an individual best mark: the 55-year-old became the first person to win both the Club World Cup (since 2000) and the FIFA World Cup ™ as a coach, having done so in 2014 as Joachim Low’s assistant.
“Congratulations to my team,” Flick said after the final. “They have completed a historic feat, they have won six titles in one season. Even for the successful club that is FC Bayern Munich, this was the most successful season ever. The team played excellently. The victory was never in danger, we dominated and won deservedly the final.
“It was also very difficult for me, we were all on the border, the same goes for me at the touchline. The match against the Tigers was at eye level even though we dominated. They deserved to be in this final.”
Although Flick, a midfielder in his playing days, lifted the Bundesliga title four times with Bayern and represented Germany at the youth level, he never got a senior cap for his country. After the 2006 World Cup, he was hired as an assistant to Low, himself newly appointed as head coach. The pair formed a harmonious duo from the start, and although Flick kept a low profile in public, he worked within the German lineup independently in many areas.
For the outside world, this became particularly evident at the 2014 World Cup: whereas Low had previously given training in set pieces some priority at previous tournaments due to time constraints, Flick insisted on making it a central topic in Brazil. “We wanted to emphasize the value of dead ball environments again, especially in such an extreme tournament,” Flick said at the time after seeking advice from dead-ball experts in the Bundesliga.
Low funny meant his assistant one evening meal that Germany did not score any goals from set pieces in Brazil 2014. Still on the way to the country’s fourth World Cup, Low’s charges ultimately scored four times from free kicks or corner kicks, including the equalizer at 2-2 in the group stage against Ghana , the only goal in the match in the quarterfinals against France, and the very important opens in the semifinals against Brazil.
“We practiced it intensely, sacrificing training time for it,” Flick said at the time. “Jogi will pay, so I look forward to this meal.” It was an expense that Low would certainly have been happy with.
After this triumph, Flick worked as an official on both the DFB and Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim before coming to Bayern as Niko Kovac’s assistant in 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 FIFA Club World Cup.
This success was not accidental as Flick radically changed Bayern’s game after taking over. He implemented far greater intensity when he pressed, a higher defensive line and prepared together with his staff his team in the best possible way for the final stage of the Champions League under suspension of the game caused by the pandemic.
In doing this, he was always aware of the need for loyalty from his players and proved to be an empathetic and straightforward man-manager. “Right from the start, he created a very good atmosphere in the team and gave us a lot of confidence. We had a feeling that we were invincible,” said Joshua Kimmich.
Brazil’s Tite won the Club World Cup in 2002 with the Corinthians and as Brazil’s head coach could lift the World Cup in 2022. Zinedine Zidane was triumphant in France in 1998 as a player and won the Club World Cup with Real Madrid in 2016 and 2017. It is by no means out of the question. , that one day he could take charge of France and steer them to another world championship triumph. But tonight it was Flick who did it first.