15 February ~ Recently in the news again for criticising FIFA's decision to stage the forthcoming World Cup finals in South Africa, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has acquired a reputation for making outspoken comments. Viewed by some as a loud-mouthed oaf, the former West Germany and Bayern midfielder is extolled by others for his championing of football's traditional values and his distaste for some of the game's biggest egos. Here are some of his most quotable observations:
Hoeness on football:
"I get annoyed every week when I go to fill my car up with petrol. The oil mafia is taking money out of my pocket to invest it in footballers. To my mind this stinks to high heaven, and this applies to Mr Abramovich among others. He is certainly no friend of mine. This mafia controls the entire world, and manipulates the price of oil. I won't stand for it any longer."
"What can we do? We simply have to defeat teams like Chelsea on the field of play. That would give us great satisfaction."
"Do you think we have cash coming out of our arses?" On being asked if Bayern were planning to replace the departing Roy Makaay with another big-name striker
"I'm reading figures such as 30, 40, 50 million. We're not even picking up the phone for that." On transfer rumours surrounding Franck Ribéry
"If I really were to leave Bayern, it would only be for Italy. I'd happily show them how to win a European trophy without spending 30m a year on new players."
"Franz [Beckenbauer] will remain as Bayern president for another five years. After all, being DFB president is horrendously boring. And FIFA president, spending the whole year on the road seeing people who understand nothing, that's not the job for him."
Hoeness on Bayern players:
"He behaves like the world no 1, but he doesn't play like it." On Lothar Matthäus
"As long as Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I have anything to do with things at Bayern, he won't even be the groundsman at the new stadium." On Lothar Matthäus
"Hopefully Frau Merkel won't have too many problems rebuilding diplomatic relations with Israel." On Lothar Matthäus again, following his appointment as coach of Israeli side Maccabi Netanya
"There are three players who perform well for us and the national team and one who doesn't." On Lukas Podolski
"The national team is a different story. 80 per cent of their games are against really average opponents. If you score two goals against Liechtenstein then everybody thinks it's great, but our reserve team from the third division would not look any worse." On Podolski's international record
"Thirty minutes after the final whistle the players are playing cards again and talking big. But while they're eating scampi, I'll be having a sleepless night." On Bayern's players following a 2-1 home defeat to St Pauli
Hoeness on the Beckhams:
"I love Beckham, but not his wife because people like her are death to football. It is sad that David will end up in Hollywood."
"My job is to run a football club and not to make sure Victoria Beckham has the best suite in the hotel. I cannot understand why Milan accepted these demands."
"We played football whereas they thought they were on a Hollywood film set."
On Beckham's Milan following a 2009 match at the Dubai Football Challenge
Hoeness on being outspoken:
"My attacks are 99.9 per cent thought through. When I'm at a game I always spend the second half thinking about what I'm going to say afterwards."
James Calder (with thanks to Chris Hamley)