Munich: Pep Guardiola, who led Barcelona to 14 titles over four seasons and turned the Spanish club into arguably the best team in the world, has agreed to become the coach of Bayern Munich starting next season. Bayern announced the deal Wednesday, after a meeting of the top management.
Earlier in the day, Jupp Heynckes told Bayern he wanted to end his coaching career when his contract expires at the end of the season. Rumors of Guardiola coming to the German powerhouse have been swirling around local media for weeks and Bayern made it official just a day after Guardiola expressed his desire to manage in England at some point.
Guardiola stepped down at the end of last season and is on a one-year sabbatical. Under his guidance, Barcelona dominated Spanish and European competitions with its passing game and frequent scoring from standout Lionel Messi. Barcelona won the Champions League twice during Guardiola's tenure, in 2009 and 2011.
"We are very pleased that we managed to win the football expert Pep Guardiola for Bayern Muinich although he had been contacted and sought by many famous clubs," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "Pep Guardiola is one of the most successful coaches in the world and we are certain that he can give a lot of luster not only to Bayern but also to German football."
Bayern President Uli Hoeness said only a coach of Guardiola's caliber could be an adequate replacement for Heynckes. Bayern lost the Champions League final last season to Chelsea and have failed to win a trophy in the past two seasons. But they have a large lead in the Bundesliga this season, which resumes this weekend. Bayern are nine points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen.