Sport

Guardiola shocks football world by signing with Bayern

Pep Guardiola, former head coach of Barcelona attends the Press Conference with nominees for World Player of the Year and World Coach of the Year for Men's Football on January 7, 2013 at Congress House in Zurich, Switzerland.
Pep Guardiola, former head coach of Barcelona attends the Press Conference with nominees for World Player of the Year and World Coach of the Year for Men's Football on January 7, 2013 at Congress House in Zurich, Switzerland. Christof Koepsel / Getty Images

SOME strange decisions have been made in football this week and I am not talking about those made by referee Mike Dean in the clash between Arsenal and Manchester City on the weekend.

No, I mean the one by Pep Guardiola to call a halt to his one-year sabbatical in New York and sign on to coach German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich on a three-year contract beginning at the start of next season.

The 41-year-old Spaniard has been away from the game with his family since leaving last May after winning 14 trophies - including two Champions League titles.

Guardiola was expected to return to the game, but not once over the past few months had the name of Bayern Munich even been thought of, let alone been spoken about as a possible home for Guardiola.

Watching on from afar it was plain to see Manchester City, Chelsea and even to an extent Manchester United were chasing the former Spain international star.

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 Guardiola.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic had previously spoken of his admiration of Guardiola's coaching prowess and even Sir Alex Ferguson and United officials met with the former Barcelona boss in New York while on a visit to watch Andy Murray in the US Open tennis.

That fired talk of a succession plan at Old Trafford. In Italy too, they love Guardiola it seems.

Back in November, AC 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."

I bet even Berlusconi would not have predicted Bayern Munich would be the next port of call for the Guardiola coaching ship.

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."

It certainly is a coup for German football, but I am not sure tippy-tappy football would go down too well in Munich.

Somehow I can't see Guardiola getting the German fans to accept that 10 passes are better than one in the pursuit of goals.

I reckon the German fans would prefer more direct football and would not suffer fools if things did not go right.

Guardiola, though, says he still has a hankering to coach in the EPL, so maybe he's using the Germans as a stepping stone to England.

Now that's certainly something they wouldn't like.

Topics:  chelsea, coach, english premier league, epl, european champions league, football, germany, manchester city fc, soccer



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