Josep Guardiola has always been meticulous. Even in his playing days he long knew that he was destined for a managerial career. Whether he knew he was going to become the most sought after manager ever though, is not as clear.
On Wednesday, after months of speculation in which the man himself enjoyed some downtime in New York, the wait officially ended.
Bayern Munich had won the race. Guardiola, it was announced, will replace Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season on a three-year contract.
While Chelsea, Manchester City and AC Milan drown their sorrows in a bottle of something strong, the German club have every right to crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate what is, no doubt, the biggest signing of the January transfer window.
Guillem Balague's book Pep Guardiola: Another Way of Winning offers a brilliant in sight into the working of the Catalan, and why he was so successful at Barcelona.
In it, Balague relays the story of Pep's first talk to the Barcelona squad in the summer of 2008 at St Andrews. He tells us how Xavi came away commenting to a teammate that everything they had needed to know had been in that speech—that it was the beginning of a special era.
How right Xavi was.
In four years, Guardiola managed La Blaugrana to 14 trophies but they didn't come as easily as history may dictate. You only have to look at a photo of Pep the day he took charge at Barca and compare it to a photo from when he left four years later to appreciate the hours he committed—he had aged dramatically.
Heading into the Bayern Munich job is in many ways much like heading into the Barcelona job—if you take Pep's Catalan ties out of the equation.
Both clubs are football heavyweights, primed to win trophies domestically and internationally. Both clubs have illustrious histories, and in the main, are required to play football in the right way. In an entertaining way.
Bayern offer a certain degree of stability that Chelsea and Manchester City's recent money injections cannot compensate for.
The foundations are truly in place at Bayern. The squad, the fans, everything about the club is suited to Guardiola's needs. While Guardiola's planning, knowledge, enthusiasm and detail would be suited to any clubs needs.
Even his comments recently about his desire to coach in English football, “to feel the supporters, the environment, the media, the style of the players and everything” can be translated into the Bundesliga.
It was always going to be an interesting decision no matter where he chose. With the benefit of hindsight, it now seems as if only Bayern Munich and Manchester United could possibly have been attractive propositions to the 41-year-old.
And so it's Germany where Guardiola's story continues and it is with Bayern Munich—who have won as many European Cups as Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal combined—who will benefit from his methods.
There can't be any doubt that the next three years are going to bring resounding success to Germany's biggest club.
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