Five reasons why Pep Guardiola picked Bayern Munich
Pep Guardiola has snubbed the Premier League and will become Bayern Munich boss next season
To the disappointment of Premier League fans across the country, Bayern Munich confirmed today that Pep Guardiola will be their manager next season.
The former-Barcelona boss has been the subject of speculation ever since he resigned from his Nou Camp post - after 14 major trophies in four years his reputation could not have been higher.
Manchester City were reportedly ready to ditch Roberto Mancini in a bid to bring him to the Etihad Stadium, Roman Abramovich was allegedly desperate to lure him to Stamford Bridge, while many punters put smart money on Guardiola replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
But they have all missed out. The Spaniard has side-stepped the Premier League and opted for the Bundesliga.
But why? Many feel the Premier League is the best league in the world - it's probably not - but even then, most are confident it's better than the Bundesliga.
Ignorance aside, here are five possible reasons why Guardiola may have decided against England, and opted instead for Germany...
In Europe's top five leagues, Bayern only trail one team when it comes to possession and pass completion. That team is Barcelona.
Quite simply, Barcelona to Bayern Munich makes sense - it's a good fit. The German giants like to dominate possession, they bully teams in a similar manner to Barcelona in La Liga.
The structure is similar - the club is majority owned by the fans - and the club, and the league, is on the up. An impressive stadium, excellent training facilities, and a sizeable transfer budget offers flexibility, and the capacity to grow. For a romantic like Guardiola, the history - the four European Cups - is also appealing.
2. The opportunity to win immediately
Bayern Munich went into the winter break 11 points clear of second-placed Bayer Leverkusen. They have a great team, superb young players, and offer Guardiola the opportunity to monopolise the Bundesliga - just like he did with Barca in Spain.
In Toni Kroos, Xherdan Shaqiri, Dante, Javi Martinez, Thomas Muller, and Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich have a talented young core.
Supplemented by world-class players like Philipp Lahm and spearheaded by one of the most potent front threes in world football - Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez, and you can begin to see the logic behind Guardiola's decision.
After all, Bayern have reached two of the last three Champions League finals. They are a European powerhouse, and they've got the squad to get even better.
3. Sir Alex Ferguson
Guardiola teased Premier League fans earlier this week when he said he'd love to manage in the England. The next day he signs with Bayern Munich. Oh…
But the fact remains the Spaniard is likely to manage in England, if not in the immediate future, then surely within the next 5-10 years.
And the best fit is still Manchester United. It's just the timing is not right at the moment. As long as Sir Alex Ferguson occupies the Manchester United hot-seat, any prospective occupant must wait their turn.
4. Chelsea and Manchester City are too unstable at present
The situation at Chelsea fails to flatter the club, while Manchester City are the antithesis of the Barcelona way.
Both seemed to have been hedging their bets towards a Guardiola appointment - City by hiring his backroom buddies from the Nou Camp, and Chelsea by sacking Roberto Di Matteo and appointing Rafael Benitez on an 'interim basis.'
So both privately must be disappointed with his decision, and for Chelsea especially, the decision to sack Roberto Di Matteo now looks even stranger. A play for Jose Mourinho could now be their other option?
According to Spanish journalist Guillem Balague, former-Real Madrid and Schalke star Raul played a large part in helping to convince Guardiola to opt for the Bundesliga.
The former-Barca boss could be drawn in by the club's history, both domestically and in the Champions League, and Raul reportedly persuaded Guardiola that the Bundesliga in one of the strongest, and one of the most entertaining, in the world. High praise indeed.