Pep Guardiola's coaching future is somewhat clearer, but the final chapter of his legacy has yet to be written. DW's Davis Van Opdorp says he leaves behind a well-constructed team for his successor.
Months of ducking and dodging questions about his future have now come to an end. Pep Guardiola has made clear that he will leave Bayern Munich at the end of his contract.
It may not be the present some wanted to unwrap this holiday season, but it is a gift nonetheless. The speculation is over, and the attention can return back to the football field.
“We are grateful to Pep Guardiola for everything he has given our club since 2013,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a club statement on Sunday. “I am convinced that Pep and our team will now work even more intensively towards achieving our major sporting goals – especially as it is now confirmed that Pep is to leave FC Bayern.”
Will he go to England? Will he take sabbatical? Is a national team job in his future? Those questions remain. But Bayern won't have to worry about them.
Guardiola's managerial lifespan will be short, but the beautiful football he leaves behind will continue to have an impact. Precisely how much is something the departing manager can influence the next five months.
Even with all of his success, Pep Guardiola will have to win the Champions League to be consider one of Bayern's great coaches
The one trophy Guardiola has yet to win with Bayern is the Champions League, a notable absence considering he claimed two Bundesliga titles and a German Cup in his first two years. That puts him almost on par with great Bayern coacheslike Udo Lattek and Ottmar Hitzfeld. The Champions League is something both Lattek and Hitzfeld achieved in year number 3.
However, Guardiola's legacy goes far beyond just silverware. He has modernized Bayern's identity and changed the way they think about the game, a big reason why the record champions brought him on board in the first place. And Bayern have invested more than they ever had this past summer to ensure Guardiola has the players he needs.
All set up for Ancelotti
“It's an honor for me to be part of this great club next season. When I knew of the club's interest I didn't want to consider any other offer.”
That is how Carlo Ancelotti addressed his followers on Twitter on Sunday, and one cannot blame him for his excitement. Guardiola will leave him a well-coached, intelligent squad when he takes over in the summer, one that is poised for instant success.
Carlo Ancelotti is walking into a very good situation, perhaps better htan the treble-winning side Guardiola inherited
Guardiola's task may have seemed easy when he was first appointed, but some of the treble-winning players - for instance Bastian Schweinsteiger or even Franck Ribery - he inherited were at the peak of their footballing capabilities. Guardiola thus had to sustain success with a different squad. He did this in part by cleverly ro9tating players into new and productive positions.
That is a headache Ancelotti does not necessarily have to deal with. The 56-year-old coach will have a fresher, more adaptable squad than Guardiola had upon his appointment. Several Bayern mainstays, including Thomas Müller and Jerrome Boateng, have extended their contracts with the club - any manager would love to have that kind united atmosphere .
Whatever the season outcome is for Bayern, the club remains in a strong position to continue their dominance.