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 By Mark Lovell

Jupp Heynckes has transformed atmosphere at Bayern Munich - Alonso

Former Bayern Munich midfielders Xabi Alonso and Lothar Matthaus have hailed Jupp Heynckes' transformation of the team since taking over from Carlo Ancelotti.

Alonso, 35, who joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2014 and retired at the end of last season, said Heynckes had brought "a new atmosphere."

The coach succeeded Carlo Ancelotti, who was dismissed after a 3-0 Champions League defeat at Paris Saint-Germain in September. 

And Alonso told Sport Bild: "Everything has radically changed within the shortest time under Jupp Heynckes.

"You can definitely sense a new atmosphere -- you can see it on the faces of the players. He has brought the whole team together."

Meanwhile Matthaus, who won the Bundesliga title with Heynckes in 1987, said Bayern had made an inspired appointment.

He told kicker: "Everyone thought at the start: Jupp Heynckes as coach? How on earth did this idea come about?

"No one had even considered him. You must congratulate Bayern on this decision.

"Simple measures have led to success at Bayern returning. Heynckes plays players in their strongest position. The team must be fit and their character must be right.

"These were all lacking, but have returned under Heynckes."

Matthaus said the 72-year-old had taken Bayern "back to their roots" with "respect" and "hard work" key.

"Heynckes has a clear philosophy and Bayern already look like German champions again," he added.

"Jupp seeks contact with the players, finding the right words, but Ancelotti didn't even try to have these conversations."

Matthaus said he would not rule out the possibility of his former boss staying beyond next summer.

"If he's successful and you believe Jupp Heynckes is the right coach for a further year then you have to speak to him," he added.

"He alone should decide if he wants to stay on a coach for another year. The way things are now, there is no one better on the market. I do not see the perfect successor."

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.

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