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SBD Global/January 18, 2013/International Football
Pep Guardiola Ignored Bigger Offers To Coach Bayern Munich Starting In '13-14
Published January 18, 2013
LEADING THE NEWS: In London, Sid Lowe wrote on the GUARDIAN's The Sport Blog "Gute Nacht (Good night)," so began the Spanish radio show Al Primer Toque at midnight, "prime time for the country's daily digest of sports news and debate." At around the same time, newspapers everywhere "were putting the finishing touches to their front pages." Guardiola "was on all of them." "PEPinazo", ran the headline on the cover of "Marca" -- "Bang!" His decision to join Bayern Munich "was everywhere and opened news bulletins." Not the sports section, the news. It is "not quite unanimous, but nearly." One famously controversial columnist calls it a "coward's" choice, insisting: "Pep has run away from the challenge, run away from Mou [Real Madrid Manager José Mourinho] and taken the easy option." "El País" newspaper said, "Guardiola chooses Bayern over the noise of England." The Madrid-based and largely Madrid-oriented "Marca" "gives over seven pages to the signing." "El Mundo Deportivo" newspaper called him the Kaiser, noting: "Herr Guardiola is off to Germany" (GUARDIAN, 1/17). In Madrid, Besa & Martín opined although the contract is economically inferior to what the English club offered, Guardiola "likes the organization of the Bundesliga," and the structure of Bayern Munich whose leadership is full of former players including Franz Beckenbauer, Uli Hoeneß and Rummenigge (EL PAIS, 1/16). Also in Madrid, Andrés Aragón opined when Guardiola lands in Munich this summer to take over the reigns of Bayern, he will encounter a team "very different from the one he left in Barcelona." The team "will have a midfield with just as much potential, but more apt to direct confrontation than one touch football" (EL MUNDO, 1/17).
SURPRISE MOVE: In Paris, L'EQUIPE wrote Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenter was "surprised" by Guardiola's decision. Wenger said, "He told me a number of times that he wanted to come to England, so I am surprised that he chose to go to Germany." He added, "Bayern is an interesting club and the German championship is also interesting so his choice is understandable. It is not a step backwards. Germany, with possibly Spain, possesses the best group of young players" (L'EQUIPE, 1/17).