Toni Tapalovic, the goalkeeping coach at Bayern Munich, reportedly lost his job for leaking discussions among the coaching staff to the players.
A report from Germany has revealed the tensions between him and manager Julian Nagelsmann that caused his dismissal despite the club citing “differences in the way we work together” as the reason for Tapolovic’s dismissal on Monday.
Tapolovic was a close confidante of the team’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
The 42-year-old, who served as Neuer’s best man at his wedding, has been with Bayern since 2011 and is widely credited with making the goalkeeper one of the best in the world. However, because of their close friendship, there are rumoured to have been “leaks” in the team’s locker room.
After learning that talks between staff members were being passed by the coach to Neuer and then to the rest of the players, Nagelsmann reportedly started to become irritated with Tapalovic as early as last season, according to Bild.
According to the article, there have been issues between Tapalovic and the club hierarchy “for a long time,” and the club made no attempt to gloss over these issues in its statement announcing Tapalovic’s dismissal.
Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic said, “As our goalkeeping coach, Toni was involved in the successes of recent years. We would like to thank him for that.
“Differences, particularly over the way we worked together, have now led to us going our separate ways. We wish Toni Tapalovic all the best for the future.”
After his resignation was made official this week, Neuer wrote an emotional letter to his close buddy, calling him “an absolute pioneer of modern goalkeeping,” “a great person,” and complimenting his significant contribution to Bayern’s recent success.
Neuer wrote, “Dear Toni, today is the end of an era at FC Bayern Munich. With you after 11.5 years, not only an absolute pioneer of the modern goalkeeping game but above all a great person is leaving the club.
“Everyone, not only in Munich, knows that all these achievements would never have been possible without you! Last but not least, you shaped and lifted me and my goalkeeping game to a new level. I will miss you!”
The club won 10 Bundesliga titles, two Champions League medals, and five German Cups during the time Tapalovic was a member of the team.