Hoeness: I turned down Real Madrid offer in 1974

The Bayern president has revealed that he had the chance to join Los Blancos as a player in the 70s, but eventually opted to stay at FCB instead as he was too young
Former Germany international and Bayern Munich star Uli Hoeness has revealed that he turned down an offer to play for Real Madrid in the summer of 1974.

Hoeness had just won the European Cup with the Bavarian giants when the Blancos came knocking, but the former attacking midfielder did not feel ready to move abroad and eventually opted to stay put.

"It's true that I had an offer from Madrid in 1974. However, I was only 22 at the time, and preferred to stay in Munich," Hoeness said to AS. "It was a big honor that Madrid were interested in me, but it was not the right moment."

Hoeness, who is now the president of the Allianz Arena outfit, would not regret his decision to snub Madrid and stay with Bayern as he went on to win two more European Cups in 1975 and 1976.

The 60-year-old then went on to compare Barcelona forward Lionel Messi with some of the club's greats such as Johan Cruyff and Maradona. And he also believes that Real and Barca have a disadvantage when it comes to facing stiff opposition outside Spain.

"Cruyff was a super player, one of the best in history," he said. "But the best I've seen? Maradona. Messi can be very close. Barca and Madrid's problem is that they're not used to playing against strong teams. They have no opponents in La Liga."

Real will put themselves to the test against Hoeness' Bayern in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal tie in Munich on Tuesday. The match kicks off at 2:45 ET.

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