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Jun 25, 2013

'The Pep show arrives in Munich'

The excitement of the German media has been palpable since Monday's unveiling of incoming Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, with the nation's press already predicting on-field success for the former Barcelona boss.

• Schaaf: Guardiola ready for Bayern
• Uersfeld: Pep lives up to hype
• Guardiola tight-lipped on Gomez
• Bayern youth offered a chance

"The Pep show arrives in Munich" was a commonly used phrase in the German media, with kicker hailing "Die Pep Show' on their front page. It was the biggest media turmoil of this Bundesliga summer break, but more than 240 journalists from 12 countries came to welcome Guardiola. More than 30 cameras focused on the coach that will take over the treble-winning Bayern side.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung suspects, that this media array will become normality in Munich. "Just normal madness", they explain.

Some journalists were more than happy to finally see the man they have been writing about for months without being able to speak to him: "Since 12:05 the phantom finally has a face" writes Die Welt.

The German public was equally impressed with Guardiola's brave attempt to hold his first press conference as coach of a Bundesliga team completely in German. Germany's biggest tabloid Bild was maybe still a bit overwhelmed when they stated "Guardiola: His German is already perfect!"

That might be true if you compare Guardiola to former Bayern and now Ireland national coach Giovanni Trappatoni, who despite being an expert coach is mostly remembered in Germany for his futile attempts to get his point across in the difficult German language. Pep's German was understandable at all times but far from perfect. If he really wants to make German his language in the locker room, he still has some learning to do.

But he might get the time to do that, as not only Tagesspiegel already foresees a long future for Guardiola in Munich. "Pep Guardiola - the start of an era?" the Berlin based newspaper asks.

And another paper from Berlin already sees the Bavarian in Pep coming through: The taz witnessed the "Start of the Seppification".

On the other hand Munich based Sueddeutsche Zeitung saw a new spirit infused into the proud FC Bayern. The SZ saw the new coach and the club bosses "United in humbleness".

FAZ emphasized the joy of the Bayern bosses about the signing of the most wanted coach in world football: "Mia san proud" is a persiflage of the FCB club mantra "Mia san mia" (we are we) which is stitched onto the Bayern jerseys.

There are some critical voices about the media hype surrounding the introduction of Guardiola in Munich. "And now everyone: Hyperventilate!" The TZ thinks that their colleagues shoud relax a little: "He speaks, he breathes, completely normal just like most of us."

Magazine DWDL.de was not too impressed by Pep's performance either: "Guardiola fever in the media: He sits and talks". DWDL felt the need to emphasize that even Guardiola has no god-like qualities: "He can't walk on the water, which might come as a surprise to some observers [of the press conference]."

But spox.com thinks Guardiola was right in playing down his role and not making big announcements: "The government declaration can wait" His task for the day was not to make revolutionary statements. When you take over a club that has just won the treble a revolution is not necessary, because a lot must have gone right already.

Guardiola's best statement of the day might have been, when he spoke about former Bayern coach Jupp Heynkes with much respect. That was immediately recognized by the German media: "Star coach totally humble! Pep wants advice from Heynckes", Bild stated.

With this humble approach, Pep Guardiola could actually be successful with his mission impossible to succeed a coach that has just won every major title there is in club football.

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