Bayern München Jupp Heynckes has shocked the football world by announcing his retirement - effective immediately. The 67-year-old was scheduled to retire at the end of the 2012/13 season and be replaced by former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, but has instead decided to pull the plug on his 33-year-old managerial career before the start of the season.
In the press conference announcing his decision, he had this to say.
"I felt it was the right time to quit. I've been involved in football since I was 18 and now I'm 67. I've spent most of my life in the sport, and I do love it very much but I think that now I just need to kick back and enjoy life. I've thoroughly enjoyed my career - especially at Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern München - and I want to thank everyone at all the clubs I've managed and played for. I spoke to the president Uli Hoeneß about my decision and he understood where I was coming from. I apologize to the Bayern fans for leaving on such short notice, and I thank them for being so warm to me in my three spells here in Munich."
Heynckes' retirement leaves a problem for the Bavarian giants. His replacement Pep Guardiola's contract starts only in the summer of 2013, so they will either need re-negotiate his contract to start now, or appoint a caretaker manager until the end of the season.
Die Bayern fans will certainly be hoping that Guardiola starts his reign at the club immediately, but it remains to be seen if the Spaniard is keen to do so as well.