bundesliga.com looks back on Pep Guardiola's debut campaign at the helm of the record German champions...
Stepping into the celebrated shoes of Jupp Heynckes, Guardiola set about his task with fastidious care. Defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the was quickly laid to rest as Bayern added the to their long list of accolades, before rounding out 2013 on top of the Bundesliga, not to mention as . A touch over three months later, the Bavarians wrapped up their in record time, with the inevitable form slump following at perhaps the most inopportune time. Real Madrid CF reigned supreme in the Champions League last four at the holders' expense, but Guardiola and Co. swiftly dusted themselves down to make it a league and DFB Cup double thanks to an over Dortmund in the capital.
If we were talking about biggest impact, Guardiola's must-have summer signing Thiago Alcantara would be a shoe-in, but in terms of best player - measured from start to finish - look no further than Oranje sensation . For the most part injury-free, the 29-year-old excelled under his Catalan guru's watchful gaze, serving up ten goals and seven assists in 28 Bundesliga appearances, before capping off one of his finest campaigns to date - perhaps even his best - with the opening goal in the .
Aside from becoming the first ever side to secure the Bundesliga title in March, Bayern racked up a whole host of other notable best marks over the course of the campaign. Of the lot, their 53-match unbeaten league run - eventually brought grinding to a halt at FC Augsburg on Matchday 29 - just about tops the lot. On an individual level, Thiago's record 177 touches in a single game (against Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 19) is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry, let alone bettered.
"I told [sporting director Matthias [Sammer] and Karl-Heinz [Rummenigge] that Mario [Götze] is a super, super player, but I need Thiago," Guardiola explained to a stunned media ensemble on 11 July 2013. "[It's] Thiago or no one," he added. Sure enough, just three days later, his former FC Barcelona apprentice had put pen to paper on a four-year deal at the club.
Thiago's awe-inspiring matchwinner in Matchday 17's rearranged fixture with VfB Stuttgart narrowly shades der Rekordmeister's 3-0 win at Dortmund in the highlight reel department. Even after Claudio Pizarro levelled matters with 15 minutes to play, it looked like VfB were going to hold the then-unbeaten league leaders to a draw, but a certain pint-sized matador had other ideas, showing the world exactly why Guardiola was so desperate to land his man with a breathtaking sideways scissor-kick in added time.