5 Things We Learned from Pep Guardiola's Opening Bayern Munich Press Conference
Pep Guardiola has been officially unveiled as Bayern Munich's new head coach, much to the delight of the worldwide press.
After a treble-winning season for the club, is following Jupp Heynckes the hardest job in football? It gives David Moyes' task of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson a close run for its money, but if there's anyone equipped to do it, it's the prodigal Pep.
Here, B/R breaks down his first press conference at the Allianz Arena.
Linguistically, He Is Unstoppable
Pep Guardiola opened his press conference with "Guten Tag und Grüß Gott" (Hello and good morning), according to the official Bundesliga website.
He made himself understood purely in German in the opening few minutes, not reverting back to Spanish at all. The press were astonished.
As documented by Graham Hunter in Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, Guardiola used to run his press conferences in three languages at Camp Nou: Spanish, Catalan and Italian.
Now he's added German to his repertoire, having studied in New York under a teacher who supports Borussia Dortmund. All this shows great commitment.
Pep Guardiola has been out of the game for one year, taking a sabbatical after four trophy-laden seasons as Barcelona boss.
He pours his heart and soul into the game, searching for that fabled "Eureka!" moment—the second he realises, after studying hours of tape on the opponent, how he can manipulate and beat them tactically.
Needless to say, it was exhausting, and Pep was deserving of a rest.
Following Jupp Heynckes' masterclass of delivering a historic treble is tough, and some were wondering if Guardiola would regret his decision to take over at Bayern.
As reported on the Bundesliga website, he spoke with conviction and enthusiasm at the conference, stating: "I'm ready. My time at Barcelona was wonderful but I needed a new challenge. FC Bayern gave me that opportunity."
Negotiations Started at the 2011 Audi Cup?
The report on the Bundesliga website claims Pep Guardiola first spoke with the club as early as 2011. If we go by the assumption that that's when negotiations began, that should flummox readers and journalists everywhere.
Pep's Barcelona played in Bayern's 2011 preseason Audi Cup, and it was there that the Catalan legend first linked up Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness. The report notes that it was "immediately clear" they would like to one day have him as coach.
Barcelona romped the tournament, and Thiago Alcantara used it as a stage to announce himself to world football. Meanwhile, primitive negotiations were likely taking place.
Mind equals blown?
He's Willing to Adapt
There's been plenty of speculation regarding what Pep Guardiola will do tactically with Bayern Munich.
Fantasy XIs have been drawn up worldwide, and the central question has always been: Will he enforce a Barcelona-esque 4-3-3, or will he adapt, change and bow to Jupp Heynckes' world-class methods?
According to the Bundesliga report, he gave this humble answer: "I have to adapt to the players here. Fans come to watch the team play, not the coach. I will have to adjust."
Perfect answer, Pep.
Admitting he will need to adapt to the team, rather than vice versa, wasn't the only politically astute sentence Pep Guardiola came out with under the scrutinous spotlight of the world's media.
The article on the Bundesliga website reports several instances where he has put the club first in his comments, sidestepping the limelight personally and insisting on making it about FC Bayern Munich.
He commented on the side's prestigious history and admitted he's a little nervous (as any human would be). When asked where he would live, he answered, "For the next six months...Sabener Strasse" (Bayern Munich's training ground).
He's the darling of the press already.