Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness has admitted in court to defrauding Germany’s tax authorities of 18 million euros ($25 million).
Prosecutors had earlier accused Uli Hoeness, 62, of evading a far smaller sum of 3.5 million euros in taxes and are seeking a jail term.
The former Germany forward kept the funds in a secret Swiss bank account.
He told the court he deeply regretted “my wrongdoing”.
“I will do everything necessary to ensure that this depressing chapter for me is closed,” Uli Hoeness said.
Uli Hoeness, who helped the national team win the 1972 European Championship and then the World Cup two years later, came clean about his secret bank account last year, filing an amended tax return in the hope of an amnesty in return for paying the tax he owed.
But prosecutors say he did so because investigators were already on his case.
The penalty for tax evasion can be 10 years in jail, though the prosecution says it will seek a seven-year sentence. A verdict is expected on Thursday.
Uli Hoeness has admitted in court to defrauding Germany’s tax authorities of 18 million euros
Munich state prosecutor Achim von Engel read out the indictment against Uli Hoeness shortly after the start of the trial, described as one of the most spectacular of the year by the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
He alleged that the defendant had failed to declare the income he held at Vontobel bank in Switzerland.
Giving evidence later, Uli Hoeness said he had used the money for large-scale gambling on the foreign currency markets, losing far more than he ever gained.
“Between 2002 and 2006 I really gambled with sums that today I find difficult to grasp. For me it was a kick; pure adrenalin,” he said.
It was while Uli Hoeness was having lunch with Chancellor Angela Merkel on January 15 in Berlin last year that he was made aware of press interest in his finances, he told the court. Vontobel phoned him, he said. warning him that journalists from Stern magazine were making inquiries.
Before the scandal emerged, Uli Hoeness was considered to be on good terms with Angel Merkel, who has since said she is disappointed with him.
Uli Hoeness said he had already decided to come clean about his taxes to the authorities.
The Champions League’s recent history has offered little other than unrelenting misery for Arjen Robben and Bayern Munich – but the agony is over after a colourful, enthralling final that confirmed Germany as the new power base of European domestic football.
Bayern Munich had lost two finals in three years, including defeat on penalties to Chelsea in their own Allianz Arena last year, but on this occasion they cast off the tag of losers to claim the crown for the fifth time.
Only Real Madrid (nine) and AC Milan (seven) have won this tournament more times and the taste of victory was even sweeter for 29-year-old Arjen Robben and veteran Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, who steps aside to hand over to Pep Guardiola at the end of this season.
Jupp Heynckes will have the chance to bow out with a Treble; Bayern have already won their league and face VfB Stuttgart in the German Cup final next Saturday.
Arjen Robben was reduced to tears at the final whistle after playing in Bayern’s losing finals against Inter Milan and Chelsea, when he missed an extra-time penalty, and also losing semi-finals to Liverpool in 2005 and 2007 during his Stamford Bridge career.
And for 68-year-old elder statesman Jupp Heynckes, this was the perfect parting gift and proof of his enduring powers. He has provided a hard act for Pep Guardiola to follow, even with his outstanding track record of success at Barcelona, which included two Champions League triumphs.
Arjen Robben, however, was the central figure as he set up Mario Mandzukic’s first for Bayern on the hour but Dortmund, under the guidance of charismatic coach Jurgen Klopp, quickly equalised through Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty after Dante fouled Marco Reus.
And Arjen Robben finally had his revenge on a competition that has been so cruel to him in the past, showing great composure to taken Frank Ribery’s flick in his stride in the 89th minute and beat Dortmund’s outstanding keeper Roman Weidenfeller.
Arjen Robben’s goal was the decisive moment of a Champions League final that saw the Bundesliga come to London and deliver a powerful statement of intent about its current status.
As well as the quality of the football, which was truly exceptional, the supporters of Dortmund and Bayern splashed their yellow and red colours spectacularly across Wembley’s canvas and the dignity and grace in defeat and victory of Jurgen Klopp and Jupp Heynckes only confirmed this was an occasion that did great credit to these two German heavyweights.
Bayern Munich won a pulsating all-Bundesliga encounter against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final on Wembley
Jupp Heynckes cut a mellow figure beside the animated Jurgen Klopp in Wembley’s technical area but Dortmund’s coach, with his flamboyant gestures and trademark grin, has established a reputation as one of football’s most significant figures.
And he will know, just as much as his players, that this was an opportunity missed by Dortmund. They paid a heavy price for failing to capitalise on a first half hour in which they dominated Bayern and were only kept at bay by the brilliance of Germany keeper Manuel Neuer.
The intense pressing style that is the trademark of Jurgen Klopp’s team pushed Bayern on to the back foot in the opening phases and left Dortmund regretting they did not take at least one of a succession of opportunities.
Manuel Neuer made five important saves in the first 35 minutes as Dortmund tested Bayern in a manner that proved way beyond Barcelona when they were humiliated 7-0 over two legs in the semi-final.
He thwarted Robert Lewandowski twice and saved superbly at his near post from Marco Reus, who saw another shot blocked. Manuel Neuer was also tested by Sven Bender.
Marco Reus then tested Manuel Neuer once more as Dortmund poured forward, urged on from the technical area by the animated Jurgen Klopp as he delivered a constant stream of encouragement and applause in the direction of his players.
Bayern Munich – finally emerging as an attacking force – may have had the feeling it was going to be another night of Champions League final misery when Roman Weidenfeller touched Mario Mandzukic’s header on to the bar and denied Arjen Robben one-on-one before unwittingly blocking another effort from the eventual match-winner with his face.
The Bundesliga champions had been a growing threat after a poor start and the breakthrough finally came on the hour when Frank Ribery played in Arjen Robben and his cross gave Mario Mandzukic the simplest of tasks to finish from six yards.
Borussia Dortmund required a swift response and it came inside seven minutes – thanks to a piece of recklessness from Dante.
The Bayern defender, who had already been booked, needlessly raised his foot and caught Reus in the stomach. Gundogan stepped forward to score coolly from the penalty spot.
It took a magnificent piece of last-ditch defending from Neven Subotic to keep Dortmund on terms. Thomas Mueller rounded Roman Weidenfeller and his shot looked destined for the net until the lunging Neven Subotic somehow recovered to clear, prompting a fierce fist-pumping response from Jurgen Klopp.
Both goalkeepers had been outstanding throughout and it was Roman Weidenfeller’s turn to demonstrate his ability once more with fine stops from David Alaba and Bastian Schweinsteiger as this enthralling final drew towards a climax.
It was Arjen Robben who made the decisive contribution and when Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli sounded the final whistle to start wild Bayern Munich celebrations, he was reduced to tears as he finally realised his dream.
Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola will take over as Bayern Munich manager at the end of the season, the German club have announced today.
Pep Guardiola, 41, who had been linked with Chelsea and Manchester City, has signed a three-year contract to 2016.
He will replace current boss Jupp Heynckes, who will retire.
The Spaniard has been on a season-long sabbatical since leaving the Nou Camp in May 2012 after winning 14 trophies – including two Champions League titles.
“We are very pleased that we have managed to convince the football expert Pep Guardiola, who was coveted and contacted by many top clubs, to come to Bayern Munich,” Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.
“He is one of the most successful coaches in the world and we are sure that he can make not just Bayern, but all of German football shine.”
Bayern are currently nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, and face Arsenal next month in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Josef “Jupp” Heynckes, 67, informed the Bundesliga club before Christmas that he did not want to extend his contract beyond this summer.
His contract expires on 30 June, with Pep Guardiola taking charge the following day.
Bayern’s general manager Uli Hoeness said: “Only a coach of Guardiola’s calibre came into consideration as a successor to Jupp Heynckes.”
Some of Europe’s biggest clubs had been linked with the Spaniard since he left Barcelona, including English trio Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, Italian giants AC Milan and big-spending Paris St Germain.
Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola will take over as Bayern Munich manager at the end of the season
The appointment of former Barcelona duo Txiki Begiristain and Ferra Sorriano at the Etihad Stadium had fuelled speculation City could be a possible destination for Pep Guardiola.
Speaking in November, Milan president Silvio Berlusconi said: “Who would not want someone like Guardiola? There are some English clubs after Guardiola, especially [Manchester] City who have directors that we know very well. We will try to sign him, but it’s going to be difficult.”
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, meanwhile, backed Jupp Heynckes, now in his third spell at Bayern after returning to the club in June 2011, to continue to excel in his final months as coach, having guided Bayern to a nine-point lead in the standings as the Bundesliga resumes following the winter break this weekend.
“As a club and as Jupp Heynckes’ friends we have to show understanding for this decision. We have to accept it and we have to respect it,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added.
“During personal talks with Jupp Heynckes we assured each other that we will do anything we can – and even more so now – to have a successful second half of the season and bring the title to Munich.”
He said: “As a player I couldn’t realise my dream to play [in England].”
“But I hope in the future, I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there.”
Pep Guardiola retired from playing in November 2006 and was named Barcelona B coach in 2007, but spent only a year in charge before being promoted to replace Frank Rijkaard as boss of the senior side.
Under Pep Guardiola, Barcelona established themselves as the dominant force in club football, with two Champions League crowns and three La Liga titles among the trophies claimed by a side containing names such as Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
Pep Guardiola factfile:
Born: 18 January 1971 in Santpedor, Spain.
Playing career: Barcelona B (1990-92), Barcelona (1990-2001), Brescia (2001-02), Roma (2002-03), Brescia (2003), Al-Ahli (2003-05), Dorados (2005-06), Spain (1992-2001).
International caps: 47
Managerial career: Barcelona B (2007-08), Barcelona (2008-2012)
Honours (as manager): 3 La Liga titles, 3 Supercopa de Espana titles, 2 Copa Del Rey titles, 2 Champions League titles, 2 Uefa Super Cups, 2 Fifa World Club Cups.
Honours (as player): 6 La Liga titles, 2 Copa del Rey titles, 1 Supercopa de Espana, 1 European Cup, 2 UEFA Super Cups, 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 Olympic gold medal.
Chelsea has won the Champions League for the first time after stunned Bayern Munich in a dramatic penalty shoot-out at the Allianz Arena.
Thomas Mueller’s late header put Bayern on the brink of victory on home territory but Didier Drogba levelled things up with a bullet header at the death before coolly converting the decisive spot-kick.
The tournament which gave Chelsea their greatest agony when they lost on penalties to Manchester United four years ago in Moscow has now delivered the greatest glory in their 107-year history.
Juan Mata missed Chelsea’s first penalty but David Luiz, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole were all successful. Philipp Lahm, Mario Gomez and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer were all on target for Bayern.
The momentum shifted decisively when Cech denied Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger hit the post to leave Chelsea on the brink and present Drogba with his moment of destiny.
He was calmness personified as he rolled the ball past Neuer to spark wild scenes of elation among Chelsea’s players, staff and supporters.
Suspended captain John Terry joined the celebrations and lifted the trophy alongside Lampard but it was Drogba who was the hero, running the length of the pitch swirling his shirt above his head in triumph, as owner Roman Abramovich finally claimed the prize he craved above all others.
Chelsea has won the Champions League for the first time after stunned Bayern Munich in a dramatic penalty shoot-out at the Allianz Arena
The questions will now start about the future of interim manager Roberto Di Matteo – who has given the Russian what he wanted after so many painful failures, including that defeat on penalties by Manchester United in the rain of Moscow in 2008 which also saw Drogba sent off.
And it is hard to see how Drogba, now 34 but still able to produce the brilliance that defines big occasions, can be allowed to walk away as his contract reaches its conclusion.
This was a victory in the mould of Chelsea’s semi-final win against Barcelona, built on resilience, discipline, defensive organisation and nerve at the crucial times and done without the suspended Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul Meireles.
Abramovich will leave the big decisions for another day, but this was a night he and his club have desired since he walked into Stamford Bridge nine years ago – and achieved with an interim manager he had to appoint after sacking his personal choice, Andre Villas-Boas.
Terry was locked in conversation with former England coach Fabio Capello at pitchside before kick-off, the defender looking ruefully around the magnificent arena as he contemplated missing out because of his red card in Barcelona.
And Di Matteo delivered a surprise in his starting line-up, with youngster Ryan Bertrand handed a role on the left flank in front of Cole in an attempt to stifle the threat of former Blues winger Arjen Robben.
Chelsea’s blanket of defensive defiance served them well in the Nou Camp – and acted as a dress rehearsal for a first half spent almost entirely in their territory.
While the west London team were organised and resolute, they were also grateful that Bayern striker Gomez’s touch in front of goal deserted him at decisive moments.
Cech saved with his legs from Robben, but Gomez was guilty of failing to control just eight yards out when Franck Ribery’s shot landed at his feet, the German striker shooting wildly off target after a smart turn in the area.
Chelsea’s only serious response was a shot from Salomon Kalou eight minutes before half-time that was comfortably held by Bayern keeper Neuer.
The pattern continued after the break and Ribery thought he had finally pierced Chelsea’s resilience after 53 minutes, only to be ruled offside when Cole deflected Robben’s shot into his path.
At times this encounter was simply a matter of Bayern’s attack against Chelsea’s defence.
There was a rare moment of anxiety for Neuer when he could only half-clear Cole’s cross as he backpedalled, but Drogba’s shot lacked power and the keeper was able to recover.
As the frustration grew among the massed Bayern support they wasted another opportunity as Mueller pulled another presentable chance well wide from inside the area.
Mueller made amends in the best possible manner though, when he headed Bayern in front with seven minutes left. He arrived unmarked onto Toni Kroos’ cross to head past Cech.
Chelsea immediately sent on Fernando Torres for Kalou – but it was the man for the big occasion who delivered again in the 88th minute. Drogba won himself just enough space at the near post to meet Lampard’s corner and head powerfully past Neuer, who got a touch but could not keep it out.
Drogba went from hero to villain in the opening moments of the extra period when he conceded a penalty after bringing down Ribery with a reckless challenge. The France international was eventually taken off injured but in the meantime Chelsea keeper Cech was the saviour as he plunged low to save Robben’s poorly struck spot-kick.
Bayern had been over-generous in front of goal and were architects of their own frustration after 107 minutes when Olic tried to set up Daniel van Buyten in front of an open goal but the defender failed to react to his pass.
And so to penalties and the dramatic conclusion that gave Chelsea the biggest prize in European domestic football as the Champions League finally went to Stamford Bridge.