Bayern Munich considered appointing Jurgen Klopp as manager in the summer of 2008 before eventually turning to Jurgen Klinnsmann, says executive board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Former Bayern striker Klinnsmann was the surprise choice to succeed the retiring Ottmar Hitzfeld ahead the 2008-09 campaign.
However, he would last just nine months in the role before being sacked, with Rummenigge describing the appointment as the worst decision of his executive career.
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What did Rummenigge say?
Bayern had ended the 2007-08 season as German league and cup champions but needed to find a new manager following Hitzfeld’s decision to retire.
Jurgen Klopp was available after resigning as boss of Mainz following the club’s failure to earn promotion back to Bundesliga.
Klinnsmann was also a free agent, though his managerial experience was limited to two years in charge of the German national team, which had ended after the 2006 World Cup two years previously.
Despite that lack of experience Klinnsmann, who won the Uefa Cup and Bundesliga during a two-year spell as a player at Bayern between 1995 and 1997, ended up being given the role.
However, the appointment was not a success, with Klinsmann dismissed in April 2009 with Bayern in third place in Bundesliga and having been knocked out of the German Cup and Champions League.
"I was partly responsible for bringing Jürgen Klinsmann on as a coach. Unfortunately, that didn't work,” Rummenigge told ZDF Sport.
“That was also due to FC Bayern, but it just didn't work. I'm very sorry. It wasn't a good decision for both parties.”
Rummenigge has now revealed that then club president Uli Hoeness had also held talks with Klopp, but they opted instead for Klinsmann.
"Uli was in talks with Klopp at the time. We had to make a swift decision and then we agreed to get Jurgen," he added.
What has happened since?
Klopp ended up joining Borussia Dortmund that same summer, where he would go on and win two Bundesliga titles, a German Cup and two German Supercups.
He also led Dortmund to the 2013 Champions League final. where they were beaten 2-1 by Bayern at Wembley.
The former defender then joined Liverpool in 2015, leading the Merseysiders to the 2019 Champions League before lifting the Premier League title last year.
Klinsmann meanwhile returned to international management in 2011 with the United States and led them to the 2014 World Cup before being sacked two years later as they struggled - and ultimately failed - to qualify for the 2018 tournament.
He also had a short spell in charge of Hertha Berlin during the 2019-20 season.