Pep Guardiola was convinced to join Bayern Munich after president went on trip to sell sausages
Uli Hoeness was on a private strip to the US when he spoke with the former Barcelona coach
Wednesday 18 December 2013
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has revealed he convinced Pep Guardiola to become the European champions' new coach during a trip to sell sausages in the United States.
Hoeness held talks with the former Barcelona coach last year in the USA, although only after first flying out as part of a private business venture for the family's business.
Hoeness revealed to Bild that he used the opportunity to secretly sound out Guardiola, who took a year's sabbatical away from football in New York, although even then he was almost accidentally found out by Sir Alex Ferguson.
"It was partly a business trip for my company," said Hoeness, who runs his family's sausage factory.
"I went to Chicago first to visit Aldi. I knew that Pep was about to fly to Barcelona for his holidays and that a meeting there would have been far more dangerous, so we decided I would meet him in the States, where the risk of being spotted was smaller.
"I wanted to take him out for a meal, but that night, Alex Ferguson was dining in the very same restaurant.
"It certainly would not have been funny had he seen me and Pep together."
The trip was a success with Hoeness coming back with the news, which was officially confirmed in early-January, that Guardiola had agreed to become Bayern's new coach.
Guardiola replaced Jupp Heynckes who retired in the summer after leading Bayern to a treble-winning campaign.
"I had the signed contracts with me," Hoeness said.
"He just wanted to get to know me better. Of course it was an extraordinary trip. Nobody really expected Bayern to appoint Guardiola.
"We didn't believe he was being serious with us either for a long time.
"What we are seeing now is a consequence of those few hours in New York."
Guardiola has seamlessly latched onto the treble-winning success of his predecessor, leading Bayern to the UEFA Supercup as well as establishing a seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga after 16 matches.
Bayern are also on course to defend their Champions League title and could be crowned Club World Cup winners after qualifying for Saturday's final in Morocco.
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