Despite multiple rumors about Pep Guardiola coaching in the Premier League after his season-long break from football, it turns out that the Spaniard is actually heading toward Germany in July.
Many felt Man City was the right place for Guardiola, considering their signing of now former Barcelona players Ferra Sorriano and Txiki Begiristain over the summer.
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.”
Unfortunately for them, though, he chose Germany. Bundesliga side Bayern Munich have confirmed that Guardiola agreed to take on the managerial position. The 3-year contract he signed will see him coach Bayern all the way through 2016.
The 41-year old left Barcelona in May 2012 after winning 14 trophies, 2 of which were Champions League titles, during his 4 years as the club’s manager.
At the press conference today, Bayern President Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said:
“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.”
“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 currently have the lead on the Bundesliga table, standing a comfortable 9 points clear of 2nd placed Bayer Leverkusen and 12 points ahead of German Giants Borussia Dortmund.
Current Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, who is 67 years old, announced that he will not be extending his stay with the club past the end of the 2012-2013 season. Guardiola will take current Heynckes’ place the day after his contract expires on 30 June.
Praising Bayern’s soon-to-be coach, General Manager Uli Hoeness said:
“Only a coach of Guardiola’s calibre came into consideration as a successor to Jupp Heynckes.”
Returning for his 3rd time to Bayern, this will be Heynckes 7th year coaching the squad. Bayern has been doing a spectacular job in his final months as manager, holding a huge lead on Bundesliga table as the league resumes following winter break this weekend.
The German side will also be facing Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League this February, hoping to move on and eventually emerge European Champions for the first time since 2001.
Earlier today, Guardiola said he believes he will still take on the “challenge” and serve as a coach in the Premier League after spending his 3 years with Bayern:
“As a player I couldn’t realize my dream to play in England.”
“But I hope in the future, I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there.”
Guardiola retired from playing football in 2006, and became manager of Barcelona’s B-team the following season. After spending a year with the B-team, Guardiola was promoted to manager of Barcelona’s senior squad, replacing Frank Rijkaard.
Under his leadership, Barcelona became one of the top teams in club football. The Spanish side racked up 2 Champions League and 3 La Liga titles during his 4 years there.
Bayern Munich have made the Champions League final twice in the last 3 years, but conceded the titles to Inter Milan in 2010 and Chelsea in 2012. Pep Guardiola’s leadership may be the final push that Bayern needs to get through to the final and win it all, but as of now, all we can do is sit and watch what happens.