FRANKFURT: Long-serving doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt and three of his assistants have resigned from Bayern Munich after claiming they were made scapegoats by coach Pep Guardiola for Tuesday’s Champions League defeat at Porto.
Muller-Wohlfahrt, who had been with the German champions for almost 40 years, said in a statement that the “relationship of trust has been damaged.”
Guardiola was seen clapping sarcastically in front of the medical staff during Bayern’s 3-1 defeat in Portugal.
Muller-Wohlfahrt’s departure is highly significant because he is no ‘ordinary’ club doctor but has been a key figure in German football behind the scenes for four decades.
The 72-year-old, also involved with the German national team for several decades, felt his medical team had been “made responsible for the defeat (to Porto) for inexplicable reasons,” sport1.de reported.
The other three members who walked out were Muller-Wohlfahrt’s son, Kilian, as well as Peter Ueblacker and Lutz Hänsel.
Their departure will fuel growing unease over Guardiola’s work despite the fact that Bayern are – yet again – running away with the Bundesliga title.
Bayern have suffred a number of injuries to key players this season and were missing five key players: Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez.
It has been reported that Guardiola is not completely satisfied with Muller-Wohlfahrt’s work, although he has not discussed the issue in public.
Guardiola had queried why France international Ribery remains absent with an ankle injury he suffered on March 11 and was expected to keep him out only for a few days.
Last year the former Barcelona coach advised Thiago Alcantara to receive treatment in Spain at his own preferred doctor rather than take Muller-Wohlfahrt’s advice.
Bayern sent one of their own doctors along to observe the work although the episode clearly undermined the work of Muller-Wohlfahrt and his team.
Muller-Wohlfahrt has been with Bayern since 1977, although he did resign on a previous occasion in 2008 when Jurgen Klinsmann was in charge.
As soon as Klinsmann was sacked, he returned to the club and has been responsible for their medical department since.
It is understood he will continue his work with the German national team.