Munich - The arrival of Pep Guardiola as FC Bayern Munich's new head coach has undoubtedly been the big football story of the European close-season so far, with well over 200 journalists from around the globe accordingly in attendance for his first press conference at the Allianz Arena on Monday (24 June).
bundesliga.com has a round-up of the international press reactions to what proved to be a very highly regarded debut for, as one German newspaper put it, "the new superstar of the Bundesliga.”
Bild: “Pep Guardiola is already a champion of the German language. He spoke almost mistake-free German for the 52-minute long press conference, and for a first impression he gets top marks.”
TZ: “It was the biggest press conference in Bayern’s history. Guardiola was friendly, reserved and extremely confident. He is the new superstar of the Bundesliga.”
Abendzeitung: “A charming arrival. The new coach of FC Bayern surprised everyone with his level of German and relaxed demeanour.”
Radio Catalunya (Jordi Borda): "It's very surprising how well Guardiola speaks German already. We weren't sure he would be able to express himself like we are used to hearing in Catalan and Spanish. This will be the start of a new era here because if he can convince the players to adopt some of his style of play, he will be successful and the Bundesliga will also grow because of that."
As: “Now comes the moment for Guardiola to show his professionalism. Until now he has lived by the passion of representing the club closest to his heart. That will be different from here on in. He knows his time in Munich comes with an expiry date as well, but he is not going to sacrifice any part of his health, as he did at Barcelona, in the process of ensuring his team play good football.
Marca: "Chancellor Guardiola! A presentation in five languages. Guardiola demonstrated his linguistic prowess as the best club in Europe unveiled the continent's most successful coach. In signing him up, Bayern have posted another serious message to the competition. Flanked by three legends of German football [Uli Hoeneß, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Matthias Sammer], Guardiola turned his official unveiling as the new head coach of FC Bayern into a true media spectacle with over 200 accredited journalists.“
El mundo deportivo: “He speaks Spanish; he speaks Catalan; he speaks English; and he also speaks German better than the Germans had imagined. He looks good because he is always prepared. He knows how to win people over to him from day one. His unveiling added to his flawless image: what he said, what he didn’t say and what he felt.”
The Daily Telegraph (Henry Winter): "What an obsessive individual Pep Guardiola is. He spent a year in New York and clearly hasn't been wandering around Central Park or riding the metro. He's been learning German, watching Bundesliga matches and he's going to hit the ground running."
The Guardian (Raphael Honigstein): "Keepie-uppie in a three-piece suit is never an easy look to pull off, especially if your partner is Berni, a 6ft fluffy bear in red shorts. But after a flawless performance on the Allianz Arena press room stage in front of 200 reporters, Pep Guardiola also successfully negotiated a cringe-making appearance with the Bayern mascot on the pitch; his good mood, winning aura and crisp attire all unscathed."
The Sun: “The most celebrated manager in the world returned to football after a year out of the game following four incredible seasons at Barcelona. He took charge of European champions Bayern and insisted he is not afraid of the challenge.”
L'Equipe: “He was charming, original and already he speaks very good German. His accent doesn’t actually sound Spanish, but French, a bit like Franck Ribery.”
Agence-France Presse (Ryland James): "What an impressive performance. He gets off a plane last night and then conducts a press conference in German, with a bit of Italian, Spanish and English thrown in. He made the point that he needs time to get to know the players and the club, but he obviously has some big plans and it's an exciting time for FC Bayern."
Gazetto dello Sport: "Guardiola is taking far more of a risk than Bayern. This is his first coaching post outside of Barcelona and he no longer has the best players in the world. Nevertheless, this opportunity is a 'gift' for him."
Hiwal Sport (Faisal Saleh): "This is a day of celebration for Bayern Munich, but it will be a difficult challenge for Pep Guardiola because of the success that the club enjoyed last season. There will be a lot of pressure on him in the coming season."