Jupp Heynckes revealed that Barcelona offered him a contract to take over Barcelona and rejected it…back in 1996.
Barcelona came knocking on Heynckes door in the mid 90’s to take over Johan Cruijff’s memorable ‘Dream Team’. The Catalan club were prepared with an offer that they truly believed was too good to be dismissed.
But the Tenerife’s manager at the time, had no interest on breaking his integrity code.
“The treasurer (Xavier Aguilar) showed me Barcelona’s offer, but I said ‘no’. “He replied in disbelief, ‘do you know that we are Barça?’ And I replied, ‘of course I know who you are, it’s you who don’t know who you’re talking to. I don’t break contracts’,” Heynckes told Der Spiegel.
Bobby Robson took over Barcelona for the 1996-97 season – with José Mourinho as an assistant – featuring Ronaldo in his prime. While Heynckes fulfilled his contract with Tenerife and afterwards joined Real Madrid in the summer of ’97.
It becomes inevitable to think of the ‘what if’ factor after Heynckes revelation.
It was under Heynckes that Madrid was able to reclaim its status as the king of Europe by winning the 1997-98 Champions League. By then, it had been 32 years since Madrid’s last European championship.