Last week, Marco Neppe was officially promoted to Technical Director of FC Bayern Munich, and for the 35-year-old it is the culmination of an astonishing career path. It led from the McDonald’s parking lot in Jüchen to a groundbreaking game in the stadium at the zoo and a transfer duel in Vancouver to the Munich power circle.
“The meeting point was always near Neuss, in Jüchen near the Mäckes in the parking lot,” said Florian Abel in an interview with SPOX and GOAL. Juchen! “When I hear the name, I still laugh myself broken today. It sounds so strange.” And of course he has to laugh again immediately. Florian Abel likes to laugh – you can tell that quickly. He apparently has this in common with his former team-mate Marco Neppe.
In the 2013/14 season, the two played together for the regional division Alemannia Aachen, but they lived in the northeast. Abel in Oberhausen, Neppe in Düsseldorf. Because the situation was similar with their colleagues Dennis Dowidat and Jochen Schumacher, the four set up a car pool for the training units. “We borrowed a white Opel Corsa from a car dealership,” says Abel. “I had the longest way from Oberhausen and drove our car to the Mäckes parking lot in Jüchen. The other guys parked their cars there. In the evenings they often had notes on the window that they shouldn’t park there anymore, they have it but done it again and again. “
The Opel Corsa then went from Jüchen to Aachen via the A44, which takes around 35 minutes with normal traffic. Sometimes one drove, sometimes the other – and the driving times were of course stopped. “The trip to Aachen dragged on, but we made the best of it and laughed at every bullshit. After that, we sometimes didn’t even have to go to the weight room because we’d already done enough for our abdominal muscles by laughing during the trip. ” Carefree times in the regional league, by the way, Aachen ended up in 13th place.
FC Bayern: Marco Neppe promoted to Technical Director
Once shortly before the end of the season, however, there was no laughter on wheels. Instead, amazement. “Before the rest of the team, Marco said to us: ‘I’m going to Bayern Munich.’ That was of course awesome. Neither of us had suspected anything, “Abel remembers. An Aachen regional league player became a scout for FC Bayern, the German record champions and Abel’s favorite club. “Of course I said to him: ‘See that you scout sensible players for my Bayern and put together a sensible team.'”
Neppe has probably not disappointed his former carpool colleague: In his seven and a half years in Munich as a scout and then as head of the scouting department, he has been involved in several pretty reasonable transfers. First, Neppe helped with the obligations of Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, Niklas Süle and Leon Goretzka. Later he decisively initiated that of Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala. As a reward, Neppe has now been promoted to Technical Director. It is the post that his great patron held from 2014 to 2017; the one who brought him to Munich at the age of 28: Michael Reschke.
Marco Neppe’s groundbreaking injury in Osnabrück
Neppe’s way into the power circle of FC Bayern is an astonishing one. He started in Offenbach, where he was born in 1986. Instead of playing for the Kickers, the midfielder played in the youth field for local rivals Eintracht Frankfurt. Good, but not good enough. At Eintracht, Neppe only made it into the reserve team, at 21 he moved on to Wuppertaler SV.
With his new club, Neppe rose to the 3rd division and reached the round of 16 of the DFB Cup, where it went against his current employer, FC Bayern. In the 2: 5 defeat he was only on the bench. Then Neppe played for Wehen Wiesbaden and VfL Osnabrück, where a pubic bone inflammation slowed him down for months.
“As it is with injuries: You have a lot of time to think about your own career. I was wondering where I would like to be in five years”, said Neppe later in an interview with the magazine of the players’ union VDV. He began studying business psychology, he returned to Wuppertal as a player – and he met Jonas Boldt, who was then head of Bayer Leverkusen’s scouting department. The contact came about through Neppe’s father Jürgen, who previously acted as chairman of the supervisory board of Eintracht Frankfurt and is known to Leverkusen’s managing director Rudi Völler.