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Thu Apr 24 16:16:25 SAST 2014

Guardiola not planning big Bayern changes, says Hoeness

Sapa-AFP | 20 January, 2013 09:130 Comments
FC Bayern Muenchen v SpVgg Greuther Fuerth - Bundesliga
Bayern Munich players celebrate after the Bundesliga match against Greuther Fuerth at Allianz Arena on January 19, 2013 in Munich, Germany
Image by: Dennis Grombkowski / Bongarts/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola does not plan to make major changes once he takes charge of Bayern Munich on July 1, according to club president Uli Hoeness.

The 42-year-old ex-Barcelona manager will succeed current head coach Jupp Heynckes with a contract until 2016, but is not expected to overhaul the Bavarian giants’ squad, says Hoeness.

“As I understand him, he is also of the opinion that our team does not need to be reinforced with lots of players — he wants to work with the current squad, he likes it,” Hoeness told German Sky Sports.

Guardiola, who won 14 titles in four years at Barcelona, has been watching Bayern intensively since August and has been learning German since November, Hoeness revealed.

Hoeness said it was in July 2011 when he first personally heard Guardiola say he might be interested in coaching Bayern, during a pre-season tournament, at the Allianz Arena, when Barcelona enjoyed a 2-0 win over Munich.

“He said: ’I can imagine working for Bayern’, I’ll never forget it,” said Hoeness.

Heynckes, who turns 68 in May, was told last September that the club were in talks with Guardiola, said Hoeness.

German football is buzzing about Guardiola’s arrival, which can only raise the Bundesliga’s marketing potential, according to the league’s president.

“The Bundesliga will benefit from a global perspective” Reinhard Rauball, the boss of the German Football League (DFL), told magazine Focus.

“In recent years, German football has developed outstandingly from an athletic and economic perspective.” 

Even Bayern’s Bundesliga rivals, defending champions Borussia Dortmund, are enthusiastic about Guardiola’s arrival.

“One can only congratulate Bayern for attracting a coaching expert like Guardiola, especially after the interest of Italian and English clubs, it just shows the strength of German football,” said Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc.

Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said he is looking forward to seeing Guardiola on the touchline: “He’s a very nice guy and will be a great colleague to have, I can only say: “Welcome to Germany!” 

But ex-Bayern coach Felix Magath, who was sacked by Munich in February 2007 despite having won the league and cup double in the two previous years, warned Guardiola will be under intense pressure.

“He is being praised to the heavens so much that he can’t possibly do himself justice,” Magath told German television.

“I don’t think German football has to reorganise itself around Guardiola.” 

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