bundesliga reaction

Beckenbauer heaps praise on Magath

May 24, 2009

Franz Beckenbauer feels Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath "should be knighted" for winning the Bundesliga title this year.

Wolfsburg beat Bayern Munich to the title by two points to be crowned German champions for the first time in their history.

"Felix Magath has managed to make an average team into German champions," he said. "Such a success is worth more than winning the title in consecutive years with FC Bayern. He should be knighted for it."

Magath led Bayern Munich to back-to-back league and cup doubles, but was sacked one game into the second half of the 2006/07 season with the record champions lying in third place.

They went on to end the season fourth and missed out on a place in the Champions League.

Seeing Magath win the title with a rank outsider will surely hurt Bayern, but Beckenbauer insists Wolfsburg are worthy champions.

"When you play as impressively as Wolfsburg have done in the second half of the season, when they took Bayern and Werder Bremen apart 5-1, and play with such consistency and proven their strength at home, then it is fine," he told Premiere television.

"They have won 16 from 17 home matches. They have become German champions at home and that is honourable."

Magath was humble in accepting his third Bundesliga title before he moves to his eighth managerial position next season with the aim of making Schalke his third title winners, although he had tears in his eyes as he looked back on a successful two years with the Wolves.

"We maybe did not have the best team, but we played the best football," he said. "We deserved to be champions. Leaving this club is very hard.

"The expectations at Schalke are always high and when you go there as the manager who has just won the title then there will be people who think that just that alone will be enough (to win the league).

"I can only guarantee that I will give 100% of my abilities to take Schalke forward, but we still have to work sufficiently."