It seems like it was just last week that we had the last press conference with Pep Guardiola, and along comes press conference #1 of the 2015/2016 season. Ahh, who am I kidding, this month and a half dragged on forever. I can't wait for the games to start again.
Pep Guardiola and media director Markus Hörwick sat down for the customary press conference with the sports media representatives.
FC Bayern Press Conference, July 2nd, 2015
Pleasantries were exchanged (how do you like the hot weather in Munich, Pep?), with Hörwick throwing some softball questions to Pep, before they finally got going. In breaking news, Pep has apparently decided on a new nickname for Franck Ribéry (he called him Franckie multiple times during the press conference). No word on whether the Frenchman likes it.
Here are the highlights of today's questions and answers (my interjections in italics):
On new signing Douglas Costa - (Douglas Costa officially joined the club on Wednesday, signing a five-year contract) We all decided together that we needed a player for the one-on-one situations, because we had a problem last season, where our two outstanding players, Arjen [Robben] and Franckie (aka Franck Ribéry) were injured, and it's very important to have these one-on-one players. He's a young player, he's played in Champions League for the last four or five years, so he has some experience, he played on the left and the right, he's a fighter. I hope he can get integrated here as soon as possible, and, of course, we are here to help him and support him. And thank you to the club for this signing.
On how long before Costa adjusts to the Bundesliga, and can help the team - I don't think that will be a big problem. [Sergio] Busquets and Pedro in Barcelona played in the fourth division, and won titles in the next years, Champions League, and the World Cup in South Africa. The important thing is the quality of the player, not whether he played in the Ukraine, or in the second or third division. We think he has the quality, and he will give everything for us.
On other team positions that need strengthening - I don't know. This isn't the right forum to discuss transfers. The journalists need to talk to Matthias Sammer and Kalle Rummenigge.
On whether Pep is planning on Bastian Schweinsteiger for this season - Last season, I read and heard a lot of things about Basti. I said it here, and I told him, his future is up to him. I think he will be here next season. But only Basti can decide his future, not Pep or Kalle. Players like him, who have had a great career, and has great quality, only he can decide. At this moment, Bastian Schweinsteiger is a Bayern Munich player. In my mind, Basti will be here. But I don't know what will happen.
On whether Pep talked to Bastian - No, he's in Wimbledon (supporting his girlfriend, tennis player Ana Ivanovic) that's what he's focusing on (a reporter informs Pep that Ivanovic was knocked out already) Ana is out? Wow! (A smile breaks out on his face) Maybe he can come back to training early (Schweinsteiger is scheduled to rejoin the team on July 11th). That's too bad. No, we already talked about this subject last season. If Basti wants to stay here, that's perfect for me, because he's a top player. When he's fit, there are no doubts about his quality.
On who will be the main competitors for Bayern in the Bundesliga - This season, there will be many. Of course, Borussia Dortmund, with a new coach, and a new mindset, new ideas. Thomas Tuchel is a big coach. But Borussia Mönchengladbach showed us what they can do last season, and Bayer Leverkusen with [Roger] Schmidt for a second season, so they know each other better now. Wolfsburg, of course, had an outstanding season. Schalke is there too. There will be three or four challengers. No team has ever won the Bundesliga four times in a row (in fact, only two teams have ever won three in a row, Mönchengladbach achieved it once, and Bayern have accomplished the feat four times) which means it's hard to do. This generation of players, Basti, Philipp [Lahm], Thomas [Müller] can accomplish that for the first time. That will be a good goal for us. And I hope we can reach the round of 16, quarterfinals or semifinals of the Champions League with the whole roster, that's my dream.
On meeting with Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrt recently, and whether the air has been cleared - (It was reported in the press that Pep had met with the legendary doctor this week) We met in a restaurant, with [Paulo] Maldini and Usain Bolt (two prominent patients of the good doctor), it was very nice, very cordial. I didn't have any problems with the doctor, believe me, no problems.
On what's next for Franck Ribery - (The Frenchman sat on the balcony next to Sammer during Wednesday's first practice of the season, with a cast on his leg, crutches by his side, and a dour look on his face) We have to help him, this is a tough stretch for him. He's a fighter, he's been injured for a long time, and he did everything to try to come back. But, he will come back. I don't know when, because originally we thought he was out for five or six days, and he's still hurt. I don't want to hear about how long it will take for him to come back. Let his ankle heal, and he can come back as soon as possible.
On new signing Joshua Kimmich - Joshua is a young player, he played well in the European Championship, that's good for his experience. He played an outstanding quarterfinal. I didn't know him, but Michael Reschke informed me about him, and we watched him at the Allianz Arena when RB Leipzig played  Munich. He made a good impression on me, and when we watched him on video, we decided that he has the quality to play at Bayern. I am waiting for him to join the team (Kimmich also has an extended vacation, due to playing in the tournament with the U21 national team). He can play at the 10, but I think he's more of a 6. He's smart, he's a fighter, he's good for Bayern Munich.
On scouting Angel Di Maria at Copa America - I don't need to watch Di Maria at the Copa America, I know the player already. He's a top player, which is why Manchester United paid €80m. Sometimes clubs are crazy to pay that much, but they weren't crazy when it comes to a player of that quality. (The reporter follows up, wanting to confirm that Pep doesn't think paying €80m is crazy) Sometimes, when someone pays a lot of money, it might be crazy. I am old, in my time, they paid eight or seven million, nowadays 30 million isn't considered expensive. The big clubs routinely pay 40, 50, 60, 70 million, and that's usually too much. But, the market determines the prices. (Come on, Pep, just admit it, United were nutsy cuckoo to pay that much for ADM!)
On Di Maria being his transfer target - No, you need to talk to Matthias. I've read a lot of newspapers, and I've seen a lot of names rumored. I'm the wrong person to talk to.
On Pep's contract expiring next summer - (Pep doesn't let the reporter finish his question) Next question, please. I have 11 months to discuss that, the club is still on vacation right now.
On Thomas Müller's one-on-one skills - Thomas is an outstanding player, but one-on-one is not his strength. His strength is that he has a nose for the ball and the situation. He is always available, is never hurt, he can play on the right or in the middle. He is exceptional. His quality is not one-on-one. We need other one-on-one players, who can pass the ball to Thomas or to Lewy [Robert Lewandowski], or others.
On whether Pep has thought about tweaking his system for the new season - Having the whole roster healthy and fit, that is my dream. My wish is not to sign one or the other player, but to have everyone fit. My system is having Franck Ribery fit. That's my system. And having Arjen Robben fit. And Javi Martinez, and Thiago, that is the best system for Bayern Munich for the next season. Karl Heinz Rummenigge has assembled an outstanding roster. I want players to be disappointed because the coach decided to play someone else, not to be disappointed about being injured.
On Bayern having 17 midfielders on the roster - 17 midfielders? (Pep looks a little surprised, and skeptical. He turns to Hörwick) We have to sell some players. (Follow up question: is that not too many?) No. I love midfielders. I don't think we have 17. We have Xabi Alonso, Pierre [Emile Hojbjerg], Kimmich, Basti, Thiago and [Sebastian] Rode. Six. OK, Philipp Lahm can play there, David Alaba can play there, Mario Götze can play there, sure. (What about Müller?, asks the reporter) No, Müller is a forward. Sure, Müller can play there, so can Götze and Javi Martinez, and Rafinha has the quality to play midfield.
On his plans for Jan Kirchhoff, who returned from a loan - Jan is here, but he has problems with his Achilles. He will get fit by September, and stay with us until December, and then we will decide together, just like we did before he went to Schalke.
On Julian Green and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg going out on loan again - Julian is also here, but I don't know yet. Pierre will stay here, I think. During the summer preparations, Julian will train and play, and then we will decide what is best for the player.
On where Javi Martinez will play, midfield or defense - He can play both. This week, for the Telekom Cup (starts on July 12th), I only have one central defender, Javi Martinez, we don't have anyone else. Benatia and Boateng aren't here, Dante is injured (picked up a minor injury during his off-season training), and Javi can't play a whole game. He can play in a three-man defense, or in a four-man defense, alone in the midfield, or with two sixes. He can play a lot of positions, but he needs his conditioning, because his strength is his running. I missed him last season.
On Bayern having two players for every position, except for right back, with only Rafinha - If we don't have a right back, Philipp Lahm has to play there. Right now, we only have Rafinha, and he can't play the entire season. If needed, Lahm can play there, he made a career there until crazy Pep switched him to midfield.
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.