CARSON, Calif. – As much as anyone, Jurgen Klinsmann is curious to see how Pep Guardiola shakes out with Bayern Munich.
This week, the Bavarian giant officially announced Guardiola as head coach starting ahead of the 2013-14 season.
"I think it's a fascinating situation now for club and the coach," former Bayern Munich player and coach Klinsmann said. "For Pep it's a wonderful opportunity. It's a huge challenge for him to work with Bayern Munich. It was about time that he comes back into the game because he's a very, very exceptional young coach out there. I just wish him all the very best there."
The 41-year-old former Barcelona trainer, who won 14 trophies in four years in Spain, will take over from incumbent Jupp Heynckes, whose contract expires at the end of the current season.
Heynckes led Bayern Munich to the Champions League final last year. This is his third stint with the club. In his second, he took over on an interim basis after Klinsmann was fired toward the end of the 2008-09 season.
Klinsmann lasted 10 months in Munich, eventually leaving the team three points from the top of the table with five games remaining in the league, having won five of his last seven Bundesliga games. However, surprising defeats in the league and a recent quarterfinal exit at the hands of Barcelona, with the first leg lost 4-0, sealed Klinsmann's fate.
Many of Klinsmann's coaching practices failed to gel with Bayern's hierarchy, including president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, both former players. So how will Guardiola fit in Germany?
"Every club is different," Klinsmann said. "A coach adjusts to his environment. Pep will also adjust to the environment at Bayern Munich. That's what makes every one of these clubs really different and special. It will be interesting to see how he can adjust, how he can implement his ideas, because the club is led completely different than Barcelona."
However it pans out, Klinsmann will watch eagerly from the United States, where he coaches the national team and, incidentally, where Guardiola has spent a sabbatical year away from soccer.
"I just think it's fantastic he's back in the game," Klinsmann said.
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