Pep Guardiola leaves Munich showered in beer and praise
Guardiola is leaving at the end of the season for Manchester City in the English Premier League
Pep Guardiola was showered with beer and praise during Bundesliga title celebrations following his last home game as Bayern Munich coach on Saturday.
Bayern, which had already secured an unprecedented fourth straight league title, signed off by beating relegated Hannover 3-1 for its 28th win from 34 games.
After lifting the trophy in front of 75,000 fans, Bayern’s players engaged in the customary beer showers, dousing any victims they could find with huge tankards of wheat beer. The beer on Guardiola came from his Spanish compatriot Xabi Alonso.
“It was cold, so cold,” Guardiola said. “And it stinks.”
The on-pitch celebrations were cut short when several hundred fans attempted to join in. Guardiola and his players quickly left for the locker room, secured by the stadium’s security staff.
“A pity because we wanted to stay and celebrate a bit longer,” said Guardiola, who still described it as a “lovely day.”
Before the game, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge thanked the coach for securing the title in each of his three seasons in charge.
“We had a great time together,” Rummenigge said. “We had three brilliant years with you. You always kept pushing and pushing the team.”
Rummenigge described Guardiola as a “great ambassador for us and for the whole Bundesliga.”
Scenes from Guardiola’s time in charge were shown in the stadium as fans applauded. Bayern honorary president Franz Beckenbauer and former president Uli Hoeness both embraced the 45-year-old Guardiola.
Guardiola is leaving at the end of the season for Manchester City in the English Premier League.
Guardiola, who took over Jupp Heynckes’ treble winning side of 2013, departs without winning the Champions League after going out at the semifinal stage to Spanish opposition each season.
After the latest exit to Atletico Madrid he was asked if it meant that his three-year mission at Bayern was unfulfilled.
“Perhaps,” Guardiola replied.
In the Bundesliga, Bayern’s dominance was clear each year. Bayern finished 10 points clear of Borussia Dortmund this season, a Dortmund side that lost 5-1 in Munich in October but still produced the best ever Bundesliga campaign for a second-placed team since the league’s formation in 1963.
Bayern lost just twice all season — to Borussia Moenchengladbach and Mainz — despite not always displaying the free-flowing and convincing football of previous years. Sheer will to eke out results proved vital when the team looked to be in trouble, highlighted when the side was 2-0 down to Juventus in the Champions League but managed to come back and win 4-2 in extra time, or in narrow league wins at home over Eintracht Frankfurt and Cologne.
“The assurance has suffered a bit the last few weeks,” Thomas Mueller said after Bayern had scraped past Benfica in the Champions League. “We stand together well as a team but it’s no longer as easy as it was.”
Guardiola said after beating Hannover that “it isn’t easy to keep winning, winning, winning.”
Bayern also won the league by 10 points in 2014-15, ahead of Wolfsburg with Dortmund far away.
The 2013-14 title, Guardiola’s first, was the most convincing of his three with the side 19 points clear of Juergen Klopp’s Dortmund.
Guardiola can still sign off on another bright note with the German Cup final against Dortmund in Berlin next Saturday.
“We’ll celebrate tonight, then tomorrow with the fans on the (central square) Marienplatz, and then the preparations will begin for the cup final against Dortmund,” Guardiola said.
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