Uli Hoeness, the disgraced former president of Germany’s top soccer team, Bayern Munich, was released from prison on Monday morning. The 64-year-old served 21 months of his three and a half year sentence for tax evasion.
Before the scandal broke that Hoeness had cheated the authorities of 28.5 million euros ($31.5 million), he was known as the major force behind Bayern’s meteoric rise in prominence within world soccer. Hoeness had succeeded German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer in 2009 after a 30-year mentorship with the legendary defender.
Behind the scenes, however, he was gambling millions through various Swiss bank accounts.
“It’s not over!” the self-made son of a butcher said before starting his sentence in March 2014. Never far from the club he helped mold, when his day release for good behavior came in January 2015, Hoeness was right back to work for Bayern, helping the team’s youth academy.
Before becoming president, Hoeness played for the Munich team himself, which won the European Cup three times from 1974-76. Part of the national team that took home the World Cup in 1974, Hoeness was forced to retire at the age of 27 and became the youngest ever manager of Bayern.
The ex-president has said he will announce his future plans on July 1, the same day Carlo Ancelotti is set to replace Pep Guardiola as Bayern’s coach.
es/kms (AFP, dpa)