Pep Guardiola and Mario Götze have the power to change Bayern Munich's FC Hollywood image

Humble duo can alter the perception of the German giants

Only eight days after Pep Guardiola had stepped cautiously through the doors of the Allianz Arena, there followed another long awaited arrival in Mario Götze. Like Guardiola, the former Dortmund midfielder was positive but understated. Like Guardiola, there was the sense that only in time would Goetze begin to feel truly comfortable in his new surroundings.

"I'm sure I can develop here, and I'm sure it won't take me long to feel at home," insisted Götze. Underlying that was the concession of a naturally shy individual that the transition from his spiritual home in Dortmund would not be easy in the immediate.

Even before he had opened his mouth, it was clear that Götze was not fully integrated. His choice of t-shirt – adorned with the slogan of his own personal sponsor, Nike – caused the Bayern legal department some embarrassment as they were forced to make an apology to official sponsors adidas. But more than anything it was Götze's reserved demeanour, his gentle voice which marked the caution of his arrival.

It is perhaps curious for a club that is so readily criticised for its arrogance that its two most high profile new arrivals should be notable by their humility. But affinity with Pep Guardiola is the most significant reason why Götze agreed to leave Dortmund in the first place, and he was keen to show his appreciation for the new coach.

"He was really keen to check how I was. We've spoken, and he explained his philosophy to me. That was important for me."

The respect is mutual. As Bayern's director of sport Matthias Sammer admitted, Götze's name had been one of the first to emerge in the early discussions with Guardiola.

"It was very clear early on, what kind of player he was after, and Mario's name came up quickly. He seemed to think it was impossible to get a player like that. When we explained that it might be a possibility, he was very excited."

And so he should be. If Guardiola faces one major challenge over the coming months, it is reshaping his well established tactical model to suit a different group of players and a different footballing culture. Götze's versatility gives him more freedom, offering a new dimension to Bayern as an attacking force. In him and Thomas Müller, the side now have two players who can theoretically fill any position in the front four.

With that and his colossal €37m price tag in mind, you could forgive Götze for appearing a little nervous. Once again, he was mature and level headed enough to brush away questions of extreme pressure, but like Guardiola, he will know the immense expectation on his shoulders. Such pressure is only exacerbated by his injury, which will keep him from training fully with the squad for at least another four weeks.

By that time, one imagines, both he and Guardiola will have settled a little more. Götze was born in Memmingen, just outside Munich, and his family still live nearby. His older brother Fabian, indeed, plays for third division Munich based club Unterhaching, and the two will be sharing an apartment for the time being. If he did not appear entirely at home on his first day at Bayern, he is right that it will not take him too long to adapt.

Once he does, moreover, he may become an unlikely poster by for Bayern's new look. For the last few decades, they have been FC Hollywood, and the furore surrounding the Götze transfer seemed to consolidate that image at least for another year. But in Guardiola and Götze, they have two of the most reserved, humble and charming characters in world football. And the effect is already rubbing off. The normally bullish Matthias Sammer recently declared his club's respect for rivals Dortmund, while BVB defender Mats Hummels has apologised to Götze for his remark that his former team mate should not have left the club.

The tension between the two clubs, which had hit boiling point only a few months ago, is dying down. And while on the pitch they will remain fierce enemies, for now the mind games are conspicuous by their absence. For Bayern, the next year is an adventure, and a leap into the unknown. They are going about it with a distinct note of caution. That's the party line, and it has been toed brilliantly by both Pep Guardiola and Mario Götze.

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
United States President Barack Obama, right, uses actor Keegan-Michael Key from Key & Peele to play the part of 'Luther, President Obama's anger translator'
video
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions