Well, we all knew that this was going to happen.
Pep Guardiola was going to join a new team.
The beloved legend of FC Barcelona, for what he did both as a coach and as a manager, was going to find a new home sooner rather than later. At the FIFA Ballon d'Or press conference, Pep confirmed he wanted to manage in the 2013-14.
On Wednesday, Pep let the football world know where he was going.
Via the team's official twitter account, FC Bayern Munich announced that Pep Guardiola has agreed to become the new Bayern manager as of July.
Perfekt!PEP GUARDIOLA (41) ab Juli bis 2016 neuer Trainer des FC Bayern! /Heynckes beendet zum Saisonende seine Karriere. ^M.Hörwick— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) January 16, 2013
I guess Pep wanted to manage a team whose initials are FCB again.
While other writers will focus on which players will go to Bayern, who will stay or leave Bayern, and so on, I want to focus on how we—FC Barcelona fans—should feel about our beloved Pep going to Bayern.
CONGRATS TO PEP AND BAYERN MUNICH
First, let me say congratulations to Pep Guardiola. We Culés love Pep, and are thrilled he will be back doing what he loves to do. As happy as we are for Pep, there is a part of us that is still a bit sad that Pep will be part of a club not named Futbol Club Barcelona. The man spent so much of his life at La Masia, Camp Nou, the City of Barcelona and Catalunya that it just feels a bit wrong that he will be with another club. But we knew it was going to happen, and Culés' happiness for him should be number one.
Congratulations to FC Bayern Munich and their fans. They will have an exciting brand of football for the next few years. But let me remind all Bayern fans that Pep's magic may take a season to get the "tiki-taka" down.
Of course, some current Bayern players will leave as others will come in, but let's not start that speculation already. Seriously, ladies and gentlemen, let Bayern Munich get through this Bundesliga season and Champions League before we start adding and getting rid of players on that team.
PEP WILL BE STUDYING HIS NEW TEAM IN THE MONTHS AHEAD
I'm sure Pep has done some evaluating of the Bayern Munich II—the reserve/B squad of Bayern—to see what kind of prospects the club has as well. If he hasn't, I'm sure it's on the agenda as well.
Also, remember that Pep will have to make a few adjustments as well. This will not be a similar tiki-taka system like he had in Barcelona. The players are obviously not the same, and depending on who he wants to keep on the roster, the teaching will have to begin early in the summer.
WHY PEP CHOSE BAYERN
Pep's agent, Josep Maria Orobitg, also told Efe Radio (via ESPNFC.com) the reason why Pep chose Bayern, "Bayern didn't offer the most money. Pep chose them because of the structure and the players they have." Ortobitg also mentioned with the contract that, "It was signed before Christmas, around December 20. Bayern was chosen because of all the teams who made offers it was the best."
Rumors have also surfaced that Pep would bring in his former Spanish National Team teammate and Real Madrid legend Raul as his assistant coach. But Orobitg stated on Wednesday that this rumor is just that: a rumor, and has no truth to it. "Raul will be Guardiola's assistant at Bayern? No, that is not true."
PEP LEAVES MANY CLUBS IN THE DARK
With Pep heading to Bayern, many clubs will have to restart their search for a future manager. AC Milan were rumored to be courting Pep but will now have to look elsewhere. Paris Saint-Germain were linked to Guardiola as well. There was a rumor a while back that said Pep was interested in the Arsenal job.
Many people wondered if Pep would be Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement once Fergie retired at Old Trafford, but now we know that's not going to happen.
Man City are essentially trying to become the Barça of England, as they have hired several former Barcelona officials in the past year to try and model their club, players and youth academy like FC Barcelona's—not to mention to perhaps in part persuade Pep to come to City. Now, Man City will have to reconsider keeping Roberto Mancini for the long term.
But the team that may feel the most hurt by Pep's decision to head to Bayern Munich is Chelsea and Roman Abramovich. Last month, ESPNFC reported that the Russian billionaire was ready to offer Pep a £20 million-a-season contract to come to Stamford Bridge.
In a way, it could be seen that Bayern Munich got just a bit of payback on Abramovich and Chelsea for that Champions League final loss last year. Just saying.
Now with Pep out of the market, what are these teams to do?
All I know is that Jose Mourinho is now the biggest name out there for these clubs to look to hire. And with Jose's troubled relationship with his players and fans at Madrid, this may be "The Summer of Mou."
FUTURE BARÇA VS. BAYERN CLASHES ON THE HORIZON?
As I mentioned in my previous article, 10 Things to Expect from Barcelona in 2013, I said Bayern Munich will be Barça's toughest rivals in this year's Champions League knockout stage. I said it would be great to see a Barça vs. Bayern final in this year's CL final.
Well, let me give you a new prediction: FC Barcelona vs. FC Bayern Munich in the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final in Lisbon. You heard it here first!
Pep vs. Tito
FCB vs. FCB
How great would that be?
In April of last year, I wrote my tribute article on Pep Guardiola as he was leaving FC Barcelona. In the article, I said this:
Catalunya is your homeland. The Camp Nou is your home. We understand that you need to leave. Just promise us that you will eventually find your way home.
Would you like to see a Barça vs. Bayern UCL Final in 2014?
I still hope that one day, Pep will find his way back home.
On behalf of all Culés, good luck at FC Bayern Munich, Pep. We still love you, and will continue to support you.
We wish you the best and much success in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League.
Just as long as you don't run into FC Barcelona.
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona
Don't forget to check out my other columns: