If everything is working for Bayern Munich on the ground for more than a year and a half, a conflict has been opposing for several months Hansi Flick and Hasan Salihamidzic. Between the coach and the sporting director, the dissensions are important. The first did not hesitate lately to assert his authority on the sporting aspect.
Bayern Munich is a club used to internal conflicts. There is no shortage of stories of stars who come to blows in training. From the fight between Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski in 2019 to that between Jérôme Boateng and Leon Goretzka in 2020, including the Franck Ribéry-Arjen Robben clash in 2012, nothing very unusual at Bayern.
A status that has earned the Munich club the nickname “FC Hollywood” since the mid-1990s. But at the time, Bayern did not outrageously dominate German football. Eight-time defending champion in the Bundesliga today, the Bavarian club has chained exceptional performances for a year and a half, with a victory in the Champions League last August.
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The Beverly Hills Flick
If all goes well in Munich when it comes to the green rectangle and the football, it is no wonder, however, that conflicts are brewing internally. The actors of this new FC Hollywood blockbuster? Hansi Flick, Bayern’s successful coach since November 2019, and Hasan Salihamidzic, the club’s sporting director for several years now.
Between the two men, the tea towel burns. So much so that in mid-March, Flick could not hold back a projection launched at Salihamidzic in the club bus, in front of all the players in the workforce. “Now you’re going to shut your mouth,” said the coach to the sports director, according to comments relayed by Bild.
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Recruitment at the center of tensions
Since then, Flick has apologized. “The situation at the club is quiet. (…) I’m not looking for excuses, a sentence escaped me, I’m not proud of it, I shouldn’t have. I’m sorry. We we talked about it, it’s forgotten, “said the Bayern coach at a press conference on March 19. But in reality, the influence struggles between the two continue behind the scenes. With the club’s recruitment policy as the main subject of conflict. Marc Roca and Bouna Sarr bear the brunt of these dissensions. The two players, who arrived at Bayern last summer under the leadership of Salihamidzic, are only very rarely aligned by Flick.
Alexander Nübel, the promising 24-year-old German goalkeeper, illustrates these disagreements. Arrived from Schalke 04, wanted by Salihamidzic, the goalkeeper had obtained from the Bosnian sports director the assurance of participating in ten games this season. Finally, Nübel has only played three since September. “I do not know what was agreed with Alex and I do not care. At the level of the starting eleven, it is always me who would have the last word”, assured Flick, as if to reaffirm his stranglehold on the sporting aspect of the club.
The future of Jerome Boateng is also at the center of the tensions. On Monday, Kicker announced the departure of the central defender at the end of the season from Bayern at the end of his contract, according to Salihamidzic’s wishes. And against Flick’s. “I do not know how the media know that. He had a very good season. (…) I do not want to comment on this question anymore,” commented, annoyed, Flick at a pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
The C1 as a peace pipe?
If everything is moving behind the scenes, Bayern does not feel any shocks on the pitch. The Bavarian club appear to be on course to win a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title after beating Leipzig last weekend. And Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was keen to defuse these conflicts in an interview with Welt am Sonntag in mid-March, drawing a slight parallel with what happened in Great Britain: “We do not want this affair family is getting worse. We must ensure that the situation does not become worse than that of the royal family of England. “
In this type of conflict, the victories on the ground are beautiful that they allow everyone to appease. In Lisbon last summer, Flick and Salihamidzic celebrated the victory in C1 by throwing themselves into each other’s arms. The road to reconciliation still seems long and will go through a qualification against PSG in the quarterfinals. Unless the disagreements are too big, which could cause Flick to leave at the end of the season. The Bayern coach, under contract until 2023, has been mentioned several times among the contenders for the succession of Joachim Löw at the head of the German selection.