clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pep Guardiola opens up on learning German

The Manchester City manager talked over his journey toward learning German in an effort to effectively communicate with his team.

Manchester City v Burnley FC - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is immensely successful a his craft to say the least. The Spaniard, however, did let it be known in an interview with BBC that he faced some difficulties along the way to being considered one of the world’s preeminent managers.

Specifically, Guardiola talked through how much time, effort, and strain it took for him to learn German when he became coach at Bayern Munich. To provide some context, this BBC interview asked Guardiola to define his “life, love, football and family” in six songs. One of the songs he chose was “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra.

Guardiola spent a month in New York prior to agreeing to join the Bavarians and segued into telling his story on trying to acclimate to Bayern:

I arrived and stayed the first month (in New York) and then signed a contract to go to Bayern Munich. I started to study German. It is so complicated to learn. Three or four hours a day in the morning with the grammar, after two months I thought: I’m going to call and break the contract.

It is so complicated even for German kids to learn. Can you imagine for a 41-year-old man? But I am stubborn.

Sinatra was a fighter; he had work ethic, not just the talent. Everyone knows his voice, it’s incredible, the charisma. Always I like a lot because he took all his decisions, he only sang the songs he wanted to sing. And to be a fighter with more than 50 years on the stage you have to be so good. Chapeau.

No doubt, learning the language is one issue that managers and players a like face when changing teams. To hear Guardiola talk through the steps he took to be able to communicate effectively with his team really displays the commitment level needed to be successful in a land where you face a language barrier.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bavarian Football Works Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Bayern Munich news from Bavarian Football Works