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‘I lost my temper and yelled at Guardiola’



Thiago missed FC Bayern Munich from spring 2014 to spring 2015 for almost a year injured.

Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt turns 80 on August 12. Until 2020, he was the team doctor at FC Bayern Munich for decades – apart from a short episode in 2015 after a violent scandal with Pep Guardiola. About the quarrel of two proud men.

“When I look back on my 40 years at FC Bayern, I’m happy and very satisfied,” Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt is quoted as saying in a statement from FC Bayern Munich, in which he announced his departure in the summer of 2020. “The experiences we had together here, the successes we celebrated together and, above all, the people I met in this club have had a lasting impact on my life.”

Only one person managed to make Müller-Wohlfahrt really angry during this time: Pep Guardiola. “For the first time in all these years, I raised my voice,” Müller-Wohlfahrt later recalled in his autobiography of a meeting in spring 2015.

What happened? “Guardiola and I sat down at the big table where the players have breakfast in the morning, the dishes were still on it. It was supposed to be a debate – and it became a scandal. I completely lost my temper, yelled at Guardiola and then like that He banged his fist on the table so that the plates and cups just rattled.”

When Müller-Wohlfahrt left FC Bayern on his own

Shortly thereafter, the then 72-year-old Müller-Wohlfahrt announced his departure after 38 years at Bayern without prior consultation with the club officials and with immediate effect. His medical colleagues Peter Ueblacker, Lutz Hänsel and his son Kilian Müller-Wohlfahrt also left the club.

The decisive factor for the resignation was the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League at FC Porto in mid-April 2015, which FC Bayern lost 3-1 without the injured Bastian Schweinsteiger, Medhi Benatia, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Javi Martinez and David Alaba .

“After that, for reasons that are inexplicable to us, the medical department was held primarily responsible for the defeat,” Müller-Wohlfahrt wrote in a statement at the time. He later said: “I was loudly attacked in front of the assembled team and held responsible for the many injuries. I was to blame for the physical condition of the players and ultimately for the defeat.” Guardiola did not comment publicly on the incident, only saying at the time that he had “great respect” for Müller-Wohlfahrt’s decision to resign.

Guardiola, Müller-Wohlfahrt and the sovereignty of interpretation

As soon as he arrived in the summer of 2013, the trainer and team doctor began to wrestle with each other about interpreting injuries and treatments. “The first day was fine, the second too,” remembers Müller-Wohlfahrt, “but on the third day Guardiola came up to me and snapped at me out of the blue: ‘What’s going on here? I thought I’d come in the best medical department in the world, and we’ve got two long-term injuries who should be fine by now. What’s that supposed to mean?’ He said it in an aggressive, reproachful tone.”

Guardiola did not like the fact that Müller-Wohlfahrt was not permanently on the club premises, but mainly in his practice in the city center. And he didn’t like the fact that FC Bayern wasn’t Müller-Wohlfahrt’s only purpose in life, that he also traveled the world with the German national team, for example, or treated Jamaican muscles like Usain Bolt’s. At the same time, Guardiola Müller-Wohlfahrt is said to have claimed that injuries in Germany last two-thirds longer than he was used to at his former club FC Barcelona. In short: there was a lack of basic trust.

“It even went so far that he turned our medically well thought-out, tried-and-tested preparation program upside down before the actual soccer training session,” said Müller-Wohlfahrt. “I couldn’t understand that a coach who had as many years of life as I had at Bayern would not listen to me and my experience.” Two proud men who believed in themselves and only themselves.

Thiago and the first scandal

The first concrete scandal was about Guardiola’s favorite player Thiago, who suffered a partial inner ligament tear in spring 2014. At first there was talk of a maximum break of two months, but that didn’t go fast enough for Thiago and Guardiola. Without permission from Müller-Wohlfahrt, Thiago had the Spanish doctor Ramon Cugat inject cortisone and growth factors into the medial ligament.

However, the recovery did not go any faster, instead Thiago injured himself again in the same place. Even Guardiola later admitted that Cugat’s treatment was “perhaps a big mistake”. Thiago was out for almost a year – and the second game after his return the next scandal broke out.

April 2015, DFB Cup quarter-finals against Bayer Leverkusen. As Benatia sustained a muscle injury, Guardiola turned to the bench and allegedly gleefully clapped his hands at the medical department. After the game he called the injury situation “critical, very critical”. The following week, FC Bayern traveled to Porto for the Champions League game, which was to be Müller-Wohlfahrt’s last away trip for the time being.

Müller-Wohlfahrt’s return in autumn 2017

When everything went back to normal at FC Bayern in autumn 2017 and Jupp Heynckes took over as coach again, there was room for Müller-Wohlfahrt again, who acted as team doctor during all four Heynckes terms. Then he hurried again with his gray hair and fast legs and with the logo of FC Bayern on his chest across Germany and Europe’s football pitches.

“It’s like coming back to a family,” he said at the time. The family that, from Müller-Wohlfahrt’s point of view, was no longer a family when he left two and a half years earlier because of Guardiola’s character traits. “I consider Pep Guardiola to be a person with low self-esteem who will do anything to deceive others,” he wrote in his autobiography. “He therefore seems to live in constant fear, not so much of defeat, but much more of losing power and authority.”