Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has spoken about his decision to leave Barcelona and admits it is a decision that stays with him.
The former Barcelona midfielder stepped down from his role as head coach at the Nou Camp at the end of the 2011/2012 season, and he signed off in style by winning La Liga and the Copa Del Ray to make him the most successful coach in the Catalan clubs history with 14 trophies in four seasons.
The Spaniard admits it was difficult to turn his back on the club he spent more than 20 years with:
“Leaving Barcelona always hurts, you don’t leave Barcelona without wounds,” Guardiola said to Marca. I left the club because I was tired. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. It was time.”
Following a year out of the game, Guardiola took the reins at Bayern Munich replacing Jupp Heynckes who retired after leading the Bavarian club to the treble including the crowning glory of the Champions League.
The 43-year-old faced a difficult task to replicate such an excellent campaign in his first season but did lead Munich to the defence of their Bundeliga and DFB-Pokal crowns, capturing the Bundesliga in record time, but faced some backlash following their heavy defeat Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Despite the sometimes mixed reception to his style of management, Guardiola has vowed to stay at the Allianz Arena and build on his impressive first season in Germany and acknowledges the pressure he is under:
“The pressure is not to win, but to sustain it,” he added. “[Vicente] Del Bosque said it best, we think of the players and they think of themselves. The team is like an orchestra where everyone has to accept a role. The ultimate challenge is to manage egos.”
Egos have been a popular subject at the Munich club over the last few months as Guardiola has faced something of a player’s revolt if reports are to believed.
Toni Kroos has been involved in a standoff with the club over a new contract and looks set to leave the club on a free transfer next summer if he can’t force a move through in this transfer window whilst Mario Mandzukic’s time with the Bundesliga champions looks to be up following a bust up with the Spaniard after being left out of the squad for the DFB-Pokal final.
Germany’s leading World Cup marksman Thomas Muller has also publicly stated his unhappiness at not being first choice under Guardiola but has since signed a new contract at the Allianz Arena, whilst Bastian Schweinsteiger is one that Guardiola is apparently happy to move on along with Swiss starlet Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Spaniard took the opportunity to offer his support to compatriot Vincente Del Bosque following Spain’s poor performance in the World Cup which saw them surrender their title and exit the competition at the group stage.
“Hopefully Del Bosque can continue. He might need to make some changes to his project though,” he said.
The 43-year-old also appeared to express his interest in turning his hand to international management one day: “But during these [World Cup] months, the world comes to a standstill. I would very much like to experience it myself. I hope that someone will want me.”
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