Bayern Munich opened their new home the Audi Dome with a friendly against Turkish giants. heinnews’s David Hein was on hand and found the time to catch up with Bayern Munich and Germany football legend and Bayern basketball fan Paul Breitner. They talked about the new Audi Dome; the new passion of Munich’s fans for basketball; his love of basketball dating back to watching Real Madrid in the 1970s; oh, and a question about Bayern football.
heinnews: We just watched the first game in the new Audi Dome between Bayern Munich and Fenerbahce. What do you think about the game, the atmosphere and the Bayern team?
Breitner: It was the improvement that I expected in A: the atmosphere through this wonderful hall and B: the quality of the team’s level. I said earlier in jest that if things keep going like this then one day we will have to cover the Olympic Stadium so that all the fans can see this Bayern Munich team. Because it is truly an experience.
heinnews: We had 6,100 spectators here for a friendly on an Octoberfest Thursday with lots of traffic and a tramline being down.
Breitner: That shows how much the team did last year in bringing basketball into the consciousness of the people of Munich and of course especially the Bayern fans. And after we have thousands and thousands of young fans who are easier to get to basketball than perhaps older generations, then it’s only logical for me that the fans come here and fill the stadium after seeing last year how wonderful basketball is.
heinnews: You are a life-long football player and fan, …
Breitner: I have also been a life-long basketball fan. I played a little bit of basketball in my gymnasium (high school) years. It always fascinated me. And then in the middle of the 1970s I was with Real Madrid. And Real Madrid back then had one of the best teams in Europe with fantastic NBA stars. It was tremendous. They also had a small basketball dome with 10,000 spectators. And my wife and I were at nearly every home game – similar to here with Bayern last year and probably this year as well. All of that came up again for me. There was a bit of time where things for me were quiet with basketball. But all of the excitement and joy in basketball has been reactivated.
heinnews: You have been connected to Bayern for a long time and know the situation with Real Madrid and their football and basketball teams. When Bayern finally decided to invest in their basketball team, did you have a feeling like, oh, finally?
Breitner: No, you can’t really say it like that because it was a decision, a vision, by Uli Hoeness and Bernd Rauch. The vision, the idea, of a few decisionmakers with FC Bayern. And they are basketball fans. I know that Uli Hoeness also played basketball. In our youth, we also played a bit of basketball together. And then he said why can’t what works in Barcelona or Real Madrid …
heinnews: With Panathinaikos, Olympiacos …
Breitner: Exactly, and Fenerbahce and others, why shouldn’t that work with FC Bayern too. I think the idea is wonderful. It’s a wonderful experience every time for me and my wife.
heinnews: The 1972 Summer Olympics were held in Munich and the basketball was played here in this building. Were you here back then?
Breitner: No, we were on the road some where with FC Bayern for three weeks in a training camp.
heinnews: Is that a shame now looking back?
Breitner: Well, you know, as a professional footballer, you don’t really think about the Olympics.
heinnews: You know a little bit about basketball. Bayern won promotion and will play in the BBL and Eurocup. What do you think about their chances for this season?
Breitner: I am a fan. I think I am a football expert. I could tell you a little bit more if you asked your question about our football team. But I don’t want to play as if I’m a basketball expert and judge something or say we can do this or that. No, I am a fan. I am excited about our game and the atmosphere. I enjoy that. Everything else I leave to the experts.
heinnews: Okay, you opened the door, last question, what do you think about the Bayern football side this season?
Breitner: It’s a joy to watch them, how the team plays and how the team is dominating in the Bundesliga. Everything is okay again.