At the conclusion of the 2012/2013 season, Pep Guardiola will embark on a new managerial adventure as he will take the helm at Germany's grandest club - Bayern Munich.
After taking a sabbatical year following four glorious seasons with Barcelona, the Spaniard is back and there is more riding on this appointment than most think.
Guardiola's rise from obscurity - Barcelona B trainer to being entrusted with the task of managing one of the greatest clubs in the world at the beginning of the 2008/2009 season at the tender age of 37 - was stunning to say the least. In fact, there are no words to describe his feats with the Spanish giants in his debut campaign.
Barcelona swept all before them, clinching a historic treble consisting of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in a remarkable season. He would lead Barca to a further treble of titles in the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup to round out the calender year of 2009 with an unprecedented six major trophies. His four-year reign consisted of a haul of 14 titles to establish himself as a legendary Barca figure on and off the field.
Just about every major European team were jostling for the signature of one of the most innovative tacticians in recent times who moulded Barcelona into a ruthless winning machine, who at the same time played breathtaking football. His decision to sign with Bundesliga heavyweights Bayern Munich is a shock to some, but there is no denying the potential that this partnership could bring.
The Bavarians have the quality as a squad, financial muscle, infrastructure and global appeal to compete with anyone in the world. He has a youth academy that is in the middle of a golden era in producing homegrown stars, and a fan-base that is as voracious and passionate as any. In many ways this is very much like Barcelona, only that this time the whole world will be watching in eager anticipation as to how he is able to adapt to a new environment.
Guardiola has the chance to oversee another successful dynasty at the Allianz Arena, despite the fact that Bayern have missed out on a number of trophies in recent years. He has at his disposal a world class team that is possibly the best in the world at the moment, and that is ready to start making history. Guardiola may prove to be the final piece in the puzzle for this team that is brimming with burgeoning talent. Superstars such as Manuel Neuer, Philip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez have legitimate claims to being the best in their positions in world football today.
Young stars such as David Alaba, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Xherdan Shaqiri, Holger Badstuber and Javi Martinez represent the future of the club with many coming through the youth system, and they too have the potential to be the very best in their respective positions. This is indeed a very frightening prospect.
This is a team that is full of hurt and hunger due to past disappointments, and therefore they will be primed in every possible way to achieve sustained success. Failure is unfathomable given how highly most regard Guardiola, but that is not to say it can be ruled out.
A new country, a new league, a new team and a new philosophy, Guardiola is starting right from the drawing board, but this time with the miles in the tank, unlike with the Blaugrana when he was thrown in the deep end.
His immediate success at Camp Nou will warm the hearts of Bayern fans, but at the same time the lofty expectations that will no doubt be set right from the get-go is something new Guardiola will experience.
We all know how great he was at Barcelona, but it will be a great test of his qualities as a manager to see if he can succeed abroad. Given the quality at his disposal there will be even greater pressure for him to succeed which is a totally different kettle of fish to his Barca initiation when he had nothing to lose.
Guardiola was back at home when he took charge at Barca with everything familiar to him where he knew the club inside out. This is not a luxuary that he will have at a foreign club. What was achieved at Barcelona is history, and he will want to silence the doubters who believe the players were the reason for Barcelona's success.
We will all be fascinated with what style Guardiola will adopt. Will he continue to implement his tika taka style? Will it work or become a case of square pegs in a round hole? Will he utilise the strengths of the team to adopt a new style? What will it be? How will he able to cope with failure and disappointment if things get awry?
These are the questions that could define the managerial career of Pep Guardiola as he steps into unchartered territory, to prove to the world his managerial prowess once more.
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