Ulrich “Uli” Hoeneß (born 5 January 1952) is a former German footballer who played as a forward.
During his career, he is mainly associated with Bayern Munich, later also serving as the club's general manager and president.
Hoeneß represented the nation in one World Cup and two European Championships, winning one tournament in each competition.
Hoeneß was born in Ulm, Baden-Württemberg. The left-sided forward was recruited from amateurs TSG Ulm 1846 by Udo Lattek, then manager of Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich, at the age of 18, in 1970. The player immediately made an impact, scoring six times in 31 matches as the Bavarians finished in second position, behind Borussia Mönchengladbach, and adding the domestic cup.
During his eight-and-a-half-year stint with Bayern, Hoeneß enjoyed great success, winning a total of eight accolades, including three league titles and as many European Cups; in the 1973–74 edition of the latter competition, the final replay against Atlético Madrid, he produced one of his most outstanding performances ever, contributing with two goals to the 4–0 victory, in efficient counter-attacking moves. However, in the final of the following year's European Cup, against Leeds United, he suffered a knee injury from which he never fully recovered.
In late 1978, Hoeneß was loaned to Bayern neighbours 1. FC Nuremberg, where it was hoped he could get more match practice. His recovery, however, failed, and he was forced to hang up his boots, at only 27; he appeared in 250 matches in Germany's top division, netting 86 times.
Immediately after retiring, Hoeneß was appointed commercial/general manager of Bayern Munich, overseeing a period in which the club had continued sporting success, winning the Intercontinental Cup, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Cup, 15 German leagues and seven domestic cups (before his arrival, the club had won a mere seven major trophies in its history).
During his reign, the club also experienced strong growth: revenue increased approximately by twentyfold and membership of the club increased tenfold to over 100,000, making Bayern the second largest membership based football club in the world. Between 2000–05, Bayern also built a state of the art stadium, the Allianz Arena at a cost of €340m, which was also one of the venues during the 2006 World Cup.
Hoeneß played 35 times for the West Germany. His debut came on 29 March 1972, as he scored the final 2–0 in a friendly win in Hungary.
As one of six Bayern players in the German squad, Hoeneß won both UEFA Euro 1972 and the 1974 FIFA World Cup. In the final of the latter, against Holland, he committed a foul on Johann Cruyff in the opening minutes that led to a goal from the subsequent penalty, but the hosts came from behind to win it 2–1; additionally, he also played with the national side in Euro 1976 in Yugoslavia, where he missed the decisive attempt in the penalty shootout loss against Czechoslovakia, skying it over the crossbar.
Despite his success, Hoeneß retained his amateur status until 1972, allowing him to take part in that year's Summer Olympic Games. There, he played alongside future Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, amongst others, as West Germany failed to qualify for the semifinals of the tournament, losing 2–3 defeat at the hands of East Germany, with Hoeneß scoring his only goal of the tournament; this historic match was also the first between the two Germanies.
Hoeneß is a son of a butcher, Hoeneß co-owns a Nuremberg-based Bratwurst factory. Hoeneß's younger brother Dieter also had a very successful career as a player in the Bundesliga. Also a striker, he represented the national team at the 1986 World Cup, with Germany finishing second. In 1982, Hoeneß was the sole survivor of the crash of a light aircraft in which three others died. Sleeping in the rear of the plane, he sustained only minor injuries. About an hour after the crash, a forest warden picked up Hoeneß who was roaming around, disoriented and shocked. The warden, who recognised him on the spot, reported that all Hoeneß could whisper was “I'm feeling so cold.” Hoeneß has no memory of the accident. It is said that this “miraculous” survival changed his life and he became a more compassionate person. Hoeneß has since helped many Bayern players through bad times, including Gerd Müller, Mehmet Scholl, Franck Ribery, Breno. He proved helpful to other football clubs in the German league as well, like FC St. Pauli, Hertha BSC, Borussia Dortmund, 1860 München and Hansa Rostock. On 20 April 2013, it was reported that Hoeneß is being investigated for tax fraud.