Pep Guardiola and media director Markus Hörwick sat down for the customary press conference with the sports media representatives.
FC Bayern Press Conference, March 3, 2015
After more than a four-month break from the competition, Bayern gets back into the DFB Pokal, hosting second division Eintracht Braunschweig at the Allianz Arena in a round of 16 matchup. Unfortunately, the reporters were more interested in the rumors circulating in the English press than the next opponent.
Here are the highlights of today's questions and answers (my interjections in italics):
On people saying the game is already won, because the Bundesliga leader is taking on the sixth place second division team - We've already won the Bundesliga. In February, Bayern already won the Bundesliga. It's no surprise, we've won every game, nobody is surprised that we are already qualified [for the next round]. Bayern Munich has already won, before the game, doesn't matter if it's Pokal, Champions League or Bundesliga (I hope that I don't need to turn on the sarcasm font here). The most important thing is for us to show our best effort, and, of course, to reach the quarterfinals. I've experienced how nice the Pokal final in Berlin is, and we want to reach the next round.
On whether Pep has ever experienced a surprise in a cup competition, as a player or a coach - In Spain, you have two games, not just one, it's a little easier for the big teams to advance. But, of course, I've experienced games where we had a lot of problems. That happens in England, and Italy as well, everywhere.
On his thoughts on Matthias Sammer's public criticism of the team after the win in Köln - (Sammer was not happy with parts of the game, and warned everyone about the consequences of allowing a CL team the same kind of chances) I don't have any issues with it, because I know Matthias very well. His opinions are respected by journalists, older players, older coaches, so I can accept his opinion. He does this for the good of the club.
On whether Sammer has addressed the team on these issues - No, normally, I talk to the team.
On whether Pepe Reina or Tom Starke could start against Braunschweig - Maybe. Maybe yes, maybe no, I don't know right now. It's a possibility, but it was a possibility in the last game as well.
On whether Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng are the CBs for the big games - No. I'm very sorry, but, no. Dante is an important player, for example. After two years of injuries, I wanted to get Badstuber playing time. It's important for me, for him and for the club for Badstuber to progress step by step. Of course, both are very good players. Holger was a national team player at 22 or 23 years old, that shows his quality.
On the rumors about Pep leaving Bayern to go coach Manchester City - Good. (the room laughs) I have a lot of offers, good. I am very satisfied here. I hope we do our job well this season, and I will continue to work for this outstanding club next season. That's my only thought at this moment. I'm staying here, and after next season, we'll see.
On not leaving in the summer - Of course not, I have a contract. If the club isn't happy with me, then it's a different subject, but I want to honor my contract.
On whether other clubs can save themselves time by not even making offers - Offers for me? I have not received any offers, and I'm not waiting on any offers. I have another year and a half here, and I am very satisfied here.
On when an extension can be expected - I have talked to the club, and Kalle [Karl Heinz Rummenigge] and I have decided that, at the end of this season, we will sit down and talk about the weather and what we want to do. I am satisfied here, it's a big task, and a big challenge for me, holding the standard of Jupp Heynckes that I inherited, and keeping that level as long as possible, and playing every game as well as possible. That's what I want to do here. That's it.
On how tiring the job is at Bayern - I am always tired (this gets another laugh). A lot of things running around in my head, players staying happy even when they're not playing, I'm always tired, which is why I sleep quite well. I have learned that Germans are generally optimistic, everything will turn out well. I am completely different, I'm afraid, in the sense that I am concerned whether we won't play well tomorrow.
On whether he is generally a pessimist - Yes, I think that's better. If you're an optimist, you're calm. A coach can never stay calm. But, so far, my pessimism hasn't been bad for my career. I'll stay that way.
On being tired after spending three years at a top club (this was mentioned in Pep's book) - No. I can stay here for three years, five years, six years (yes, please!!!), it all depends on the club and the players. The most important thing is that the coach is satisfied, and, above all, the club is too. But, why are the last five questions about my situation? Braunschweig is important now. Next week, I will be here again. (A reporter gives Pep advice, telling him to just extend his contract through 2019, and then it won't be brought up again).
On a return date for Thiago [Alcantara], Philipp Lahm and Javier Martinez, who have been practicing with a ball - I think it won't be long. I don't really know, I don't want to give an estimate, and then get a call from the doctors, complaining about what I've been saying. But, in the last ten days, they've trained very well. Philipp has almost no pain in his ankle, Thiago is better every day, Javi needs a little more time, because his injury was pretty bad, but I think they can train with us pretty soon. I think at the end of the national team break, at the end of this month, they will be able to train with us. I hope, for them.
On Thomas Müller donning a Lucky Luke costume for a goal celebration - (Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang and Marco Reus donned Batman and Robin masks after a goal this weekend, but Thomas Müller's favorite comic book character is Lucky Luke) They [Dortmund players] were happy, that's ok. It's a subject for BVB, for my colleague Jürgen Klopp, but it's ok. If Thomas wants to do that, I don't have a problem with it. But I like to focus on a different subject.
On Pep's favorite comic book character - (Pep rolls his eyes, gives the reporter a look and says) OK, boys. See you tomorrow.
Disclaimer - Due to the nature of having a coach whose native language is not German, the translation of the quotes is not exactly word for word, but includes some interpretation on the part of the author of this article, in order to more accurately portray what the coach is intending to say. There is some necessary guesswork involved.