The "most honest" title is in the bag, but there's still plenty of space for a couple more trophies in Bayern's luggage. After finally officially wrapping up the Bundesliga title, with a little help from Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday, all of Bayern's focus now turns to the two cup competitions, with the DFB Pokal semifinal against BVB Dortmund at home in the Allianz Arena up next.
Pep Guardiola and media director Markus Hörwick sat down for the customary press conference with the sports media representatives.
FC Bayern Press Conference, April 27th, 2015
Considering the importance of the upcoming clash with Dortmund (after all, you can't do a triple without first securing the double), a lot of the questions revolved more around the anti-climactic clinching of the Bundesliga title, instead of Tuesday's game.
Here are the highlights of today's questions and answers (my interjections in italics):
On where Pep was when Gladbach scored the winning goal against VfL Wolfsburg, clinching the Bundesliga title for Bayern Munich - I was at home, and I watched the last minutes of the game on TV. Congratulations and big thanks to the players. Of course, same to all the employees at this big club, but most of all to the players. So, to the entire roster, thank you very much.
On whether Pep is still hungry for more, after his fifth title in his time in Munich - Well, we showed everyone. After a successful three years, and a World Cup, with eight or nine Bayern players, we won the title with four games to go. We may have lost to Wolfsburg and Gladbach, two big teams that are currently in second and third, but we've had great continuity this season. And tomorrow is a final, at home, and we need our people.
On Jürgen Klopp's statement that Dortmund will "run wild" - That's normal, we've played seven times against BVB. We've lost some, we've won some, but they always play with a lot of aggressiveness, that's a characteristic of teams under Klopp. I don't need to hear his words to know they will do that. We have to play better than the last two times. The second half of our home game, we played well, but in Dortmund, we won, but they were better. We had problems building up play, and finding our midfielders, but we won because Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski played well. The games are always tight.
On Bastian Schweinsteiger's eighth Bundesliga title, and whether he will play on Tuesday, with all the choices in the midfield - That's a welcome change. Over the last two months, it wasn't a big secret on who would play. Congratulations to Basti for his eighth title (which ties the Fussballgott with Oliver Kahn and Mehmet Scholl for the most domestic championships by a player in Germany). His future depends on him. He will have to make the decision on whether he will stay another year, two years or more. He's been injured a lot over the last two years. He played, whether he was fit or not. There is no doubt about his quality or his personality. But, only 11 can play, and I will make my decision tomorrow. We have to practice today, we have to work on some details, but I don't know yet who will start.
On how it's better this season, not clinching the title too early, so that the players are still motivated - (Pep misunderstand the question at first, and gets a little annoyed, because he thought the reporter was questioning why they didn't clinch the BL title as quickly as last season, and goes on a bit of a rant. Once Hörwick clarifies the question, Pep is a little embarrassed, apologizes, and covers his face with his hand) It's a different situation. We won early, and all of my focus was on the Champions League. Now the players still haven't relaxed, last season our motivation went down a little. It's completely different now.
On the most important game of the season - The game in Dortmund (1-0 win with very few players available) That may have been our worst game, but we played with a lot of heart. It was very important because we needed to keep our lead against Wolfsburg. It allowed us some breathing room, because we could afford to lose a game after that. I am very happy with these last two months.
On whether Pep will miss Klopp as Dortmund's coach - It's great for me as a coach to go against him. We lost some, we won some. It's been a great honor for me. He's a great guy, our relationship is very good, we have a lot of respect for each other. But, I ‘m sure he will be coaching a big team very soon, and I hope we can face each other again.
On how nice it is to have Arjen Robben as a joker on the bench - (In German, they use the term "joker" as a player off the bench, that can turn a game late) Arjen is not a joker. When he's fit, he will play. There aren't a lot of secrets these days, except for the actual lineup, but of course it's good for us that Mehdi Benatia, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben are back, this gives us more options, but their fitness level is not ideal yet. But having them against Dortmund tomorrow, and against Barcelona, gives us more options.
On Rafinha, Juan Bernat, and Javier Martinez's status - Martinez has been injured for nine months. His optimism and enthusiasm is like Thiago's, when he came back. He wants to play, of course, and maybe he can help us with a few minutes. Rafinha hasn't trained yet (he did participate in the final practice on Monday) and Bernat is a little better. He played with some problems in Porto, but we didn't want to take any chances against Hertha BSC. I hope he can play against BVB. We need him.
On Robben's importance, specifically against Dortmund - Of course he's important, because of his quality. Right now we have almost no players who can take on defenders one-on-one. We need the quality of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. It's good news for us that he's training, but we can't forget that he's been hurt for five weeks. The level of play against BVB and Barcelona is going to be high, so we need the players to be fit.
On whether there are any updates ot Franck Ribery - No. He's better, but he's still not on the field.
On how fast Robben can get back to his old form - With Arjen's conditioning, he needs less time to get back, to get his rhythm back. Arjen is very strong here (points to his head), if he is confident there, then his legs won't be a problem. He's only practiced once, but you guys saw it, he did well. Good news for us, obviously.
On how satisfied Pep is with how attractive the team is playing - I am very happy. I am thankful for the players I have, because it all depends on them. We know what has happened in the past after a World Cup, in 1974, they were tenth in the league, because it's always tough. In the future, there are no more excuses, when somebody says that it's tough to play after Champions League or a World Cup, because Germany will win another World Cup (hell yeah!!!). The players have shown that they can play well after something like that. I hope that I can have all the players next season, with Javi Martinez and Schweinsteiger, and everyone else. It won't be easy, because all the other clubs are getting better.
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.