In 1973, Bayern Munich made a record-breaking transfer by paying 900,000 marks for Jupp Kapellmann, establishing him as the most expensive transfer in Bundesliga history. However, he stood out from the players who had previously graced the fields of West Germany. Soon, you will understand why. Before securing his services, Paul Breitner publicly stated to the media: “We don’t need him!”
Kapellmann reflects on the dynamic with Breitner and Uli Hoeneß, saying, “I always had a contentious relationship with Paul. He was constantly engrossed in Mao Zedong’s book, preaching the ideas of the communist leader Ho Chi Minh from Vietnam. Yet, simultaneously, he smoked Havana cigars and parked his Bentley in the garage. Once, I confronted him in the club bus about how he could endorse left-wing ideas after signing autographs as the face of a bank for a 5,000-mark fee.” Kapellmann expresses his astonishment.
Initially playing as a defensive midfielder and later transitioning to a central defender, he began his journey at Alemannia Aachen. After the team’s relegation from the Bundesliga, Cologne lured him in.
However, Kapellmann swiftly returned to the pitch. He even played a crucial role in the replayed European Cup final against Atletico Madrid. The first match ended 1-1 after extra time, with Schwarzenbeck equalizing in the 120th minute. Two days later, Bayern triumphed 4-0, marking the beginning of their three-year European dominance.
Reflecting on a post-operation period, Kapellmann recalls, “While recovering, a representative from Langnese ice cream approached with an offer to feature in their advertisements for 12,000 marks. Franz arranged it because he wanted me to feel part of the team, perhaps feeling guilty for the wrong pass that led to my injury.”
Kapellmann’s erudition sometimes surpassed even the club’s management’s expectations. He shares an anecdote, saying, “During a bus trip, I was reading Franz Kafka behind President Wilhelm Neudecker. When asked what I was doing, I mentioned reading Kafka. The president humorously responded, ‘Franz Kafka? I haven’t negotiated with him yet.'”
His presence proved valuable during surgeries, as he often accompanied teammates for moral support. He notes, “Having a familiar face nearby makes it much easier to undergo surgery.”
Recalling a visit to Yerevan to play against Ararat, Kapellmann had to apply his medical knowledge. The Armenians treated Bayern Munich like Hollywood stars, leading to an unruly crowd and police intervention. Kapellmann played a role in providing medical assistance to a fan injured during the chaos.
In 1979, Uli Hoeneß assumed control of the sports division of the club, leading to Jupp’s departure from Bayern. Kapellmann reflects, “Uli prioritized himself and made significant strides for the club with his actions.” When Hoeneß took on a managerial role, Kapellmann knew he couldn’t continue with Bayern. Opting for Munich 1860, he explains, “The training base was conveniently close to the hospital where I worked, making it the most logical move.”