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May 10, 2013

Heynckes hailed as 'real Special One'

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge hailed Jupp Heynckes as "the real Special One" as the coach celebrated his 68th birthday on Thursday.

Heynckes was presented with a cake at the club's training ground which included the Bundesliga trophy made of marzipan and had 68 candles on it.

The former Real Madrid manager, who is set to step down at the end of the season to make way for Pep Guardiola, has enjoyed a remarkable campaign which could culminate in the Treble for his side.

And Rummenigge took to his latest set of programme notes to lavish praise on the job Heynckes has done at the club.

"Jupp Heynckes has a totally opposite character to what is the norm in the footballing world these days," he wrote. "He is pleasant, polite, a wonderful person and a fantastic coach. He has found the right way to address our two dozen superstars - an absolute masterpiece. I know there is another coach laying claim to this title, but for us in Munich, Jupp Heynckes will remain the only, the real Special One."

Bayern take on Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on May 25 in what will be their third Champions League final in four years.

Despite painful defeats to Inter Milan and Chelsea, Rummenigge is sure his club will finally land the trophy that has eluded them since 2001.

"We have learned our lessons in 2010 and 2012," he wrote. "Our team will win the Champions League in 14 days' time."

Bayern have run away with the league title, claiming it back from Dortmund in early April. With two games left to play, and with 85 points, they have already collected a Bundesliga record points total for one season.

Despite such success, Heynckes is determined to see his side remain focused for the final stages of the campaign, in which they also have a DFB-Pokal final against Stuttgart to look forward to.

"Our journey is not over yet, two big finals are coming up for us," he said during his emotional birthday speech. "We need to maintain our rhythm and preserve our form."

The Bayern players themselves are desperate to finish the season off in style, and striker Mario Mandzukic said winning the Treble would be the perfect birthday present for his boss.

"Champions League and the cup would be the best presents for him," he said. "We will be ready."

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