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Bayern legend Roy Makaay speaks about life in Munich, modern-day strikers & more in exclusive talk

Published at :February 25, 2024 at 6:56 PM
Modified at :February 25, 2024 at 6:56 PM
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(Courtesy : Bayern Munich)

Rajarshi Shukla


Roy Makaay has scored the fastest goal in UCL history

One of football’s well-known faces, Roy Makaay, was interviewed by our reporter. He discussed how his passion for the game developed and how he rose to become one of the game’s best attackers. The athlete proceeded to play for numerous elite teams, including Feyenoord, Bayern Munich, and Deportivo La Coruña.

Makaay also dabbled in coaching, beginning with the Feyenoord junior squad and managing Rangers. The Bayern World Squad is currently coached by former players and you can see some of the questions we were able to ask him down below.

1 Can you tell us about yourself, your career, and your time at Bayern?

Roy Makaay: I scored three goals against them. I started as a young boy, played there for four years, then in Spain, and played in championship cups. Last season, we beat Bayern twice in their stadium. And then Bayern wanted to sign me, so I had a chance to play in your stadium.

Then two years in Feyenoord. I retired in 2010 and then went straight into the youth academy. I got my coaching license, and then I worked with Robert for four years on the first team. He went to China, then COVID happened, and we didn’t see our family for one whole year. When Steven Gerrard left Rangers as coach, I came to Rangers for November 2021–2022, and I was Rangers assistant coach.

Then the manager was fired, and I was appointed as their coach. In my coaching career, I am more thankful for Bayern brand ambassadors. Now I’m very happy to be recognised by this club. I have travelled around and have gone to Mexico and Oman for games. Maybe I will go somewhere else in the next few weeks, and maybe not because the club wants to be all over the world. 

2. Can you also tell us about the Bayern World Squad? 

Roy Makaay: This is a project where people all over the world can apply. Last year, they asked if I wanted to do it. So I decided to join it. It was tough, but in four weeks, day in and day out, it was nice for me to work with such young players and culture. I was luckily able to speak many languages, mainly Spanish and English, while players from other nations such as South Korea and France were able to speak English.

I was also contacted by agents to see if I had good players. It’s not easy to pick players from the video because there is no chance to give them to Bayern. We assess, see, and decide if you are made for Bayern Munich and wait for four weeks. 10 out of eight players get selected. and maybe in the future, there will be some good players who get a chance to play for the senior team.

There is a long way to go before they are trained in all conditions and what it means to be a professional player. It’s a long way, but somehow we notice who has the talent to become a professional player because, since social media, more players focus on those apps instead of their performances, but at the end of the day, we expect them to show their talent. and it’s good that we also won five games out of six. I told them that if they won one, it would be a big success, but winning would give them more prominence, which is really nice. 

3. We also heard three players have made it to the professional contract, which is somewhere. 

Roy Makaay: I have been here for whole weeks, so I know some soft players have been landed somewhere. Some have gone to the first or second division. Our striker signed for Metz in France. Scouts are there from other leagues, and sure, they will have a chance to play for other clubs, and then you never know. 

4. Can you tell us about how Bayern’s move happened? 

Roy Makaay: My agent told me that Bayern was one of the clubs interested in signing me. It took a while, but at the end of the day, I got a chance to play for one of the biggest clubs. 

5. As a striker, you used to play with number 8 at the back. 

Roy Makaay: I could have chosen 8, 9, or 10, but Evans chose no.9 then 9 would have been free, but you have to respect the numbers. If you called me number 10, I was fine with it, but I eventually got number 9. 

6. Talking about the World Squad, how do you actually look at the videos? 

Roy Makaay: Last season, we had 25000 applications, and this season, we had 6,000 applications. So there are many methods to see the players and their videos, and for that, we have different scouts to see their performance. The last time I came to Germany, we had some players, and we made a backup plan for those who were Japanese and later cancelled due to school duties.

We then went to Argentina for two weeks, and you also have to have a visa. Due to a visa problem, we couldn’t come to Argentina. Last year, there was one video asking my team to get this guy a contract. Last year, we had Polish players as well, but due to their quality and age, we said no to them. We see many things in players who play in different positions; their 1v1 goal-scoring quality is one of them.

There are many things you need to see when you are scouting. Then you know what you get now; there are achievements, and my goal is to get good players in the squad. 

7. Earlier strikers had to wait in the box, but now they have to drop back and help in linkup play. What do you think about that? 

Roy Makaay: The way I played as a striker and how everybody looked at the game. The way I played Bayern, I used to play wings higher, and the wings always change. Now, there is a different attitude towards the game, and football has changed in the past 10 years. There are plenty of things to consider when you look at the game. Bayern has fast wingers. 

8. Going back to 2010, we had many vintage strikers, and now this trend is coming back where we have similar forwards such as Haaland, Hojlund, and Osimhen. 

Roy Makaay: You can look at Messi under Guardiola, who played as No. 9, and when Suarez came, he played as No. 9, and Lewandowski is also No. 9. Benzema is also No. 9, but he is playing in Saudi Arabia. I would have liked him to play more in Europe. Haaland is amazing; he has the potential to become the best striker, and City were really good last season. United have Hojlund, and the future looks bright now for strikers.

9. According to you to become a striker what qualities one should have? 

Roy Makaay: There are many things you need to know if you want to become one of the best strikers: shooting skills, the right quality heading ability, and box presence. 

10. What is your experience with having young players who come from different countries be part of the Bayern youth team?

Roy Makaay: Like I said, it’s really nice to have players coming from abroad. We had the last two from LAFC. Then we try to explain our morals and rules. There are also language barriers because we have players from different countries who cannot speak similar languages. But our one rule is that they have to work hard and become part of the team. 

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