Back in January Pep Guardiola was announced as the next manager of German outfit Bayern Munich; the German side deciding to act fast at bringing in the former Barcelona boss before the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City or AC Milan got the chance.
Back then there was surprise at his decision. Why the Bundesliga? Why not go to a ‘big league’?
One such detractor was Jose Mourinho.
‘It is his choice. Has he deliberately chosen a league I am not involved in? I don’t know. What is certain is that I will not manage in Germany. I make no comments; it is all the same to me.’’
The ‘Special One’ clearly suggested that the Bundesliga was not up to his standards and that Guardiola was essentially running and hiding; scared to face off against his old adversary.
Well fast-forward to yesterday and two German teams faced off in the UEFA Champions League Final; leaving the rest of Europe running scared at potential German dominance.
Bayern Munich beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in a thoroughly enjoyable match at Wembley but what’s more; the Bundesliga duo knocked out Barcelona and Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
Guardiola knows now that he has one seismic job on his hands to live up to the expectations set for him by outgoing coach Jupp Heynckes as Bayern cemented their place as easily the current best team in Europe in London on Saturday night.
But football certainly has a funny way of working things out; and after Mourinho’s jibe at Guardiola potentially going to Germany simply to avoid him it seems that the two are on a head-on collision.
Rafa Benitez guided Chelsea to a Europa League triumph over Benfica in a similar fashion to Bayern; with a late goal deciding the outcome.
That booked Chelsea’s place in the UEFA Super Cup for the second year in a row; where they will face Bayern Munich.
With Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea looking like the worst kept secret in football there is little doubt that we can all start licking our lips in anticipation of Pep v Jose: Part II.
The two have never truly seen to eye-to-eye during their tussle for Spanish supremacy with the two clubs who make up ‘El Clasico’ and that battle will be resumed in Prague on the 30th August.
What a curtain raiser to UEFA competition next season; and already a date to book in the calendar for next season.
image: © daniel0685