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Hitzfeld warns Guardiola: Expectations are high

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Abelardo: Tough for Guardiola to top Heynckes
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Abelardo: Tough for Guardiola to top Heynckes

Switzerland coach and former Bayern Munich boss Ottmar Hitzfeld has warned Pep Guardiola he faces a tough task in living up to fans' expectations when he takes over at Bayern Munich.

The former Barcelona boss was the most sought-after man in football after he announced his wish to return to coaching after his year-long sabbatical, and it was the Bundesliga leader who ultimately secured a deal for his services earlier in the winter.

Bayern fans have been eagerly anticipating both the brand of football and the potential for success under the 42-year-old Guardiola, but Hitzfeld has warned that current boss Jupp Heynckes could ultimately prove to be a tough act to follow.

"There is a hype around Guardiola. The expectations are rising exponentially," Hitzfeld told Bild. "The fans expect him not only to win, but also to play dream football. But if Jupp Heynckes now wins the treble with Bayern, it will be difficult for Guardiola to enter as the expectations will be even greater."

Bayern has been strongly linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, but Hitzfeld says the striker is the type of player Guardiola would not wish to sign.

"The issue with Lewandowski brings unrest in Munich!" Hitzfeld added. "If he comes, there will definitely be one striker too many. Guardiola preferred a system without a center forward, and with small, agile strikers. Even with [Samuel] Eto'o and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, he couldn't get on."

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