Pep Guardiola was the perfect coach to take Bayern Munich to the next level, according to Johan Cruyff.
Guardiola succeeded Jupp Heynckes as Bayern boss last summer after the German had led the club to an historic Treble.
But while the former Barcelona coach appeared to be taking on an impossible job in trying to improve the Bavarians, he has already succeeded in securing the Bundesliga title earlier than his predecessor managed.
And with Bayern still looking good in the Champions League and DFB-Pokal, Guardiola, who has yet to lose a league game, could well land another Treble by the time the season is up.
“I know Pep very well and I know how intelligent he is. It was clear to me that he did not join this club with the intention of completely overhauling it,” Cruyff, who knows Guardiola from their time together at Barcelona, told tz Munich. “He is someone who modifies the processes.
“If something is good, he modifies the details. And that is his gift. That is what makes him such a good coach. He just realises how to optimise something that is already good.
“There is no perfection in football. That is impossible. There will always be mistakes in this game. But this coach and this club have attuned really well. I think the chemistry between him and Bayern has something of perfection. It just works out!”
That chemistry could of course deliver more success for Bayern, with a DFB-Pokal semifinal against Kaiserslautern and a Champions League quarterfinal against Manchester United coming up next month.
Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wrote in a column for kicker: “Against Manchester United we want to advance to the semifinals of the Champions League and then by all means we want to reach the final in Lisbon. It would be our third consecutive final. Our goal is to win every possible title, just like in 2013!”
Like Neuer, Bayern captain Philipp Lahm believes the Bundesliga title will not be the last trophy the record-breaking side get their hands on this season.
“We are still hungry, this is not the end. There are other titles to win,” Lahm said.
And even in the Bundesliga, Bayern still have more records to break. They have scored 79 goals, and need a further 23 to erase the long-standing record of 101 goals in a season, currently held by Bayern’s 1971-72 side. The Bavarians can also become the first-ever team to go undefeated in a full Bundesliga season.
“We want to win the remaining Bundesliga games,” Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer told kicker. “I can only say one thing: We will not wane.”