Pep Guardiola has signed a three-year contract with FC Bayern Munich that will see him take over from retiring coach Jupp Heynckes in July. Heynckes indicated prior to Christmas that he intended to retire when his contract expires on June 30.
In Guardiola, Bayern has succeeded in hiring one of the most high profile and successful coaches in history. In his time as coach of Barcelona, the 41-year-old won three La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, two UEFA Champions League titles and two FIFA Club World Cup titles, among others.
"We are delighted we've succeeded in appointing leading coach Pep Guardiola, who has been pursued and contacted by many big-name clubs, for FC Bayern", Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "Pep Guardiola is one of the most successful coaches in the world, and we're certain he will add great flair to both FC Bayern and German soccer. We're looking forward to the partnership from July 2013.
The news comes as a particularly big blow to Champions League holder Chelsea, whose chairman Roman Abramovich had gone to great pains to ensure that the head-coaching job at his club would be available when Guardiola decided to return to coaching next season. According to The Guardian, Guardiola’s decision has made unsettled Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho the odds-on favorite to return for a second stint at Stamford Bridge.