Actually everything was clear: Friedhelm Funkels sacking from Fortuna Düsseldorf last January was synonymous with the end of his career as a coach. So Funkels own statement. But now he could come back from the coach’s pension. In an interview with EXPRESS, the 67-year-old explains why.
During his almost four years in Düsseldorf, Funkel often repeated that Fortuna would be his last coaching station. It’s Funkel’s Fortuna oath. On January 29, 2020 he will finally be summoned to the office in the arena. The board of directors informs him that he will be released as a coach from Fortuna Düsseldorf. Shortly afterwards, Funkel stands in front of the cameras and finally announces: “My coaching career is over.”
But now it could come to the role backwards. “If an offer comes, I’ll think about it. I don’t know what will happen if an interesting club calls. In any case, the situation has changed somewhat, ”he says in an interview.
What he means: After his coaching career, the native of Neuss actually wanted to spend a lot of time with his great passions. He wanted to play a lot of tennis, go out to eat with friends and travel all over the world with his wife Anja.
Friedhelm Funkel: “The ceiling falls a little on my head”
And then Corona came. “Of course, I imagined it to be completely different. Now the ceiling falls a little on my head, ”says Funkel. The pandemic has got its grip on the world. Play tennis? No chance! To eat out? Puff cake! To travel around the world? Forget it!
And so the record promotion coach (he was promoted to the Bundesliga six times with a club, most recently in 2018 with Fortuna) adapts to the circumstances.
Friedhelm Funkel: There was nothing wrong with a Schalke engagement
Means: When a club calls, Funkel will at least listen to what the plan is and not hang up directly. “There have already been offers from two or three clubs. But that wasn’t something that appealed to me, for example. I then turned it down, ”he says.
Recently, there were rumors about a commitment Funkel as Schalke rescuer. “There was really nothing to it,” he says.
So Funkel continues to wait, whether there is either an attractive job or the pandemic allows a retired life that he can really enjoy to the fullest: “We need patience, that’s the way it is. But Anja and I don’t want to complain either. There are much more important problems in the world right now. “
Friedhelm Funkel fit again after problems with the Achilles tendon
After all: Funkel’s Achilles tendon complaints are history. After a six-month jogging break, he can run again. “I hope it lasts and I can continue to do sports five times a week.” In addition to running, equipment training with a physiotherapist is also on the agenda at Funkel.
But maybe you will soon see him again as a trainer on the lawn seven days a week …
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Friedhelm Funkel aiming comeback trainer