Pep Guardiola unveiled by Bayern Munich: Former Barcelona manager intends to 'maintain high level'

The Spaniard takes over a team that won the treble last season

Pep Guardiola spoke of his “honour” at joining “one of the biggest clubs in the world” after being officially unveiled as Bayern Munich's new head coach today.

The 42-year-old Catalan, returning from his year-long sabbatical after four trophy-laden years with Barcelona, replaces treble-winning boss Jupp Heynckes in the Bayern hotseat and cannot wait to get started.

"I am ready," he said. "My time at Barcelona was wonderful, but I needed a new challenge and Bayern Munich gave me this opportunity.

"They are a club with great players and a great history and I chose Bayern because they are one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"There are few really special clubs in the world and Bayern are one of these clubs.

"When Bayern call you, it's a great honour and that is why I am here."

That call came last December, although Guardiola's move to Bayern had been in the pipeline for much longer, according to club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"We had been working on it for a long time to convince Pep to come to Bayern," he said.

"It started two years ago when we had the Audi Cup and (president) Uli (Hoeness) and I drunk a coffee with him and we discovered he had a soft spot for Bayern.

"He liked the philosophy and the team and we've remained in contact with him, and it became more intensive over the last year when we were deciding who would be our coach from July 1.

"We're delighted, and proud to have appointed the most successful coach in the world, and Pep became that with Barcelona.

"From day one, we got the impression Bayern wanted Pep and Pep wanted Bayern."

When Guardiola's appointment was announced in January, it was not clear how successful Bayern's season would turn out.

Under Heynckes, the Bavarians went on to claim an historic treble of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League titles - becoming the first side in German football history to accomplish such a feat.

He therefore has some big shoes to fill, but is not fazed by the prospect.

"I've got to be able to live with it," he said. "In a big club, you always have a lot of pressure and I have a lot of pressure here, but I know this.

"But I am accepting this big challenge without a problem. That's why I'm coach.

"Sometimes you take on a team who was a relegated, and that was the case in my first year as coach of Barcelona's B team.

"Then you can get a team 18 points behind and that was my case with Barcelona's first team.

"The situation today is completely different. I am taking over a team who were extraordinary last season. They won four titles - three plus the Supercup - but, when you are coach of Bayern Munich, no matter what the situation is, you have always got to play well and have always got to win."

Replacing Heynckes is therefore less of a burden and more of an incentive for Guardiola.

"I have a lot of respect for what he achieved not only last season, but also throughout his extraordinary coaching career," he said.

"For me he it is a great honour to succeed him and I hope to maintain the level the team played at last season.

"I want to maintain this high level and that is my challenge. There is lots of pressure, but I've got to accept it and be capable of coping."

President Uli Hoeness expressed his conviction that Guardiola was the only man for the job.

"We're at the top and being at the top is one thing, but staying at the top is something else," he said.

"That is the most difficult task a coach can have and that's why I think Pep is just the man after such a year.

"I'm convinced that, if not he, who else could do this job?"

Guardiola, who arrived in Munich last night, will lead his first training session at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

The first two training sessions will be staged in front of 25,000 fans at the venue before Guardiola and his team get to work on preparing for the 2013/14 season at the club's Sabener Strasse training facilities.

PA

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.

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk