DIETMAR HOPP PAYS TRIBUTE TO ULI HOENESS
The curtain will be drawn on an era this evening when, after 49 years as player, coach and president of Bayern Munich, Uli Hoeness steps down from all functions in front of 13,000 clubs members in Munich's Olympiahalle. TSG majority shareholder Dietmar Hopp has congratulated his old friend and sent him his best wishes as he enters retirement. ''One of the things I respect the most about Uli Hoeneß, in addition to his passion and his warmth, is his complete lack of vanity. It is precisely this quality that has enabled him to achieve all that he has achieved throughout the course of his career.'' Hopp also acknowledged the impact the 67-year-old has had on German football: ''He has absolutely nothing left to prove. His accomplishments speak for themselves. I'm sure that, even in retirement, he'll keep a close eye on everything that goes on at Bayern Munich.'' Hopp was also keen to emphasise the strong relationship he shares with both Hoeneß and Bayern Munich: ''Our relations have always been defined by trust and friendliness. We've always treated one another with the utmost respect, both privately and professionally. He has always responded graciously on the few occasions TSG have been able to inflict defeat on Bayern.''
One of Hopp's defining memories of the long-standing Bayern president comes from a charity golf tournament the two men were competing in. In Hopp's words: "Uli demonstrated his famous generosity by spontaneously donating a considerable sum of money to help many children and young people in Africa.''