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Mar 9, 2013

Ballack: Guardiola talk 'disrespectful'

Former Bayern Munich captain Michael Ballack believes the hype surrounding Pep Guardiola's move to the Bavarian giants is "disrespectful" towards current manager Jupp Heynckes.

Bayern, who have enjoyed a strong season under Heynckes with a 17-point gap at the top of the Bundesliga, have set up a clash with Wolfsburg in the German Cup semi-finals and hold a coommanding 3-1 advantage over Arsenal in the clubs' Champions League round of 16 tie.

But Ballack fears this success is being over-shadowed by the anticipation of former Barcelona boss Guardiola's impending arrival.

"Guardiola is an exceptional coach who has had great success. However, until the summer, we should honour the team under Jupp Heynckes," Ballack told Spox.com. "If you complete such a deal, of course the media will talk about Pep Guardiola.

"But I think it's a little disrespectful towards Jupp Heynckes as it doesn't honour the work he's doing currently. He (Heynckes) shows great class, as it's not easy to deal with this topic."

And the 36-year-old said the Bayern squad could celebrate Heynckes' reign with the Champions League trophy, believing the club should consider themselves one of the favourites for the crown.

"Bayern have invested in top players in the last few years and with their depth, they have the quality to win the Champions League," he said. "Not as an underdog, but rightfully as one of the favourites. I don't think it will take long until they hold the trophy in their hands again."

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