Football journalists across the Bundesrepublik scrambled to gauge reactions to the bombshell announcement that FC Bayern München trainer Hansi Flick would be departing the German giants this summer.
German footballing magazine Kicker published a now viral photo of Flick glancing at his wristwatch, thoughtfully representing that he had "called time" on his Bayern career.
Kicker correspondent Jörn Petersen cobbled together some early quotes for the adjoining article. Bulinews' Peter Vice translates.
Here are some of the early reactions to Hansi Flick's impending departure from the Germany's record championship club:
Bayern captain Manuel Neuer (via Sky):
"This is an emotional tale for all of us; one that we have to process as a team since we've had such a very nice and successful time together. For us it was very important that he told us privately before he told the public, especially given the game. It's a sign that our relationship is very strong."
Team Talisman Thomas Müller (via Sky):
"He didn't give us his reasons. He's put a lot of energy into this extremely intense one-and-a-half years. As the coach of FC Bayern, you need a to have a foundation of thick skin. You're asked a lot of questions and you always have to present yourself ahead of the team. These were intense times. He didn't explain why [he was leaving], but he didn't have to explain it to us either."
Longest-serving Bundesliga trainer Christian Streich:
"It's impressive what he's achieved and what he accomplished with the team. He surprised more than a few people. I'm very happy about that because he's a great coach. Any club or association that gets Hansi can count themselves fortunate. That's my full conviction."
Also-departing defender David Alaba (via twitter):
"Huge steps together. The final steps together. We'll fight to the end, coach."
Club legend Bastian Schweinsteiger (via twitter):
"Bayern signed you as a backup and you gave it [the club] everything that is possible. Whatever happens next, congratulations Hansi!"
Schweinsteiger's words could not be more true. For Flick, there was nothing more to win after a year where Bayern collects all six trophies they contested.
Huge steps together.— David Alaba (@David_Alaba) April 17, 2021
Last steps together.
Fighting till the end coach! pic.twitter.com/fJJj2zoVTC