Madrid/Munich - Although Pep Guardiola does not give interviews, he never shirks questions at press conferences. One reporter who has followed the new FC Bayern Munich coach's career virtually since he started out at FC Barcelona's youth academy is Paco Aguilar, deputy director of Catalan newspaper El Mundo Deportivo.
The 58-year-old has worked for the daily sports journal since 1991, before which he worked with the El Periódico de Catalunya. He has followed FC Barcelona for over three decades and is a respected figure in Spanish sports journalism.
Few know Guardiola better than Aguilar, who spoke at length with bundesliga.com about what FC Bayern and German football can expect when the Pep era gets underway in Munich on 24 June. Here's part 3 of that interview.
Question: You say that Guardiola was a dominant figure at FC Barcelona, that he had everything under control. How do you think he will manage that at FC Bayern?
Aguilar: It’s going to be very interesting. FC Bayern have people like Hoeneß, Sammer or Rummenigge and that is a lot of heavyweights within one club. I think he will play a little more tika-taka football. I hope that Bayern fans are not angry with me when I say that he will have them playing a bit more like Borussia Dortmund. I think that, when he can, he will play a 4-3-3 system. He not only wants to win, but his premise is also to play attractive football. One thing’s for sure: he demands everything from his players. At the end of the game, the shirt must be dripping with sweat. For him, it is also very important that the fans enjoy the kind of football they are seeing a lot.
Question: You mentioned before that he, to put it bluntly, cut Eto’o, Ronaldinho and Deco down to size. Do you think that he might show one or two of the big names at Bayern the door?
Aguilar: That's quite possible, but there would have to be a very good reason for it. He's certainly not going to arrive and say straight away “I don’t like him, he’s got to go!”. He'll first take a precise look at everybody and see how they work, even if he'll have been following Bayern’s progress very closely from a distance. He's also taking intensive German lessons, and the way I know him, then you can expect him to hold his first press conference in German. But he's a person who, if he sees that a player is just kidding around, then he'll deal with him with the necessary severity, and it will be uncomfortable for them whether it be a Schweinsteiger or whoever. There are precise rules of behaviour under him.
Question: Is there any Bayern player who you believe will suit Guardiola’s style the most and who could develop a lot under him?
Aguilar: For me, that would be Thomas Müller. I think he can improve a lot under Guardiola. He's the kind of footballer he likes - he’s versatile. Maybe also Mario Götze. I know that he really thinks a lot of Ribery - he tried to lure him to Barcelona twice. In any case, the Bayern players can expect a very communicative coach who will seek dialogue. Therefore, it's so important for him to grasp the German language so quickly. He'll often ask his players into his office to explain everything to them. But he also knows at the same time how to maintain a certain distance. He's not the kind to go for a beer with the players, but he does care about other matters with the players, such as their family needs, which he always has an open ear for.
Question: Javi Martinez, one of his compatriots, plays for Bayern. How do you think that situation will be?
Aguilar: Do you know what I think? I can imagine Javi Martinez playing as a central defender under Guardiola. Martinez is good when it comes to playing the ball out from the back, and he likes such a man-marking type. We’ll see, but Martinez played a great season for Bayern and that has not gone unnoticed in Spain.
Interview by Miguel Gutierrez for bundesliga.com