Former Barcelona head coach Josep "Pep" Guardiola will take over at Bayern Munich at the end of the season. The Bavarian behemoths confirmed the coup, adding that current coach Jupp Heynckes would be retiring.
Bayern Munich announced their new coaching acquisition via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after reports appeared in the German sporting press.
"Pep Guardiola will be the new Bayern Munich coach from July through 2016," Bayern wrote on its official account, adding that current coach Jupp Heynckes "will be finishing his career at the end of the season."
"We are extremely happy that we have managed to bring football luminary Pep Guardiola, who was being courted and contacted by many noteworthy clubs, to Bayern Munich," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in an article on Bayern Munich's website. "Pep Guardiola is one of the more successful coaches in the world and we are certain that he can bring a lot of luster not just to Bayern Munich, but also to German football."
Guardiola won three Spanish league titles during his time at Barcelona, also securing the 2009 and 2011 Champions League crowns and a host of other awards. Guardiola also won the Spanish title six times as a player during more than a decade with the Catalan giants. A defensive midfielder in his day, he's known more as the coach of an attractive, attacking Barcelona outfit often lauded as one of the best teams ever assembled.
Guardiola quit his Barcelona post in the summer, saying he wanted to take a time out. The decision followed arguably his most disappointing season in recent years, losing the Spanish league title to Real Madrid and falling to a rearguard action by Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals.
Heynckes waves goodbye
Jupp Heynckes, aged 67, had a contract until July, and had said in recent weeks that he was considering retiring from football.
"We must muster understanding for this decision as a club, but also as friends of Jupp Heynckes," Rummenigge said. "In our very personal discussions we also assured one another that we would do everything - absolutely everything - to ensure that both Bayern and Jupp Heynckes enjoyed a successful second half of the season and brought the German championship back to Munich."
Bayern lead the league by nine points at the half-way stage in the season, with their next fixture against Greuther Fürth on Saturday.
"We would be extremely pleased if the team were to give this great coach the kind of glorious swansong he deserves," Bayern President Uli Hoeneß said. "Only a trainer of Pep Guardiola's caliber could be considered as an adequate successor for Jupp Heynckes."
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