Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admits Pep Guardiola left him in tears when he told him he wanted to leave, and reveals the pair are now close friends (and even wrote to each other at Christmas!)
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has revealed he shed tears when Pep Guardiola said he was leaving the German giants, and even wrote to him at Christmas and New Year.
Guardiola spent a hugely successful three seasons at Bayern under Rummenigge, in which he delivered three Bundesliga titles, two DFB Cups, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup.
Rummenigge divulged that he will ‘always remember’ the night when Guardiola told him he was leaving for a new challenge, which brought him to Manchester City and the Premier League in 2016.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said he cried when Pep Guardiola left the club
Guardiola (right) spent three years at Bayern, and Rummenigge (left) said they are friends
‘In November 2015, at a meal together, he told me that he had to leave the club,’ Rummenigge told Bild.
‘He needed a new challenge. Pep played with open cards from the start. It was an emotional evening; he cried, I also shed tears. That was memorable for me.’
Rummenigge spoke warmly of have a ‘real friendship’ with Guardiola, and said they both spent several long nights sharing wine together.
‘Pep, today you had better leave your car behind and get yourself taken home,’ he said. ‘He is totally reliable, a great person with whom you can have great fun.’
Guardiola and Bayern lifting the DFB Cup in 2016, one of seven trophies he won with the club
Rummenigge revealed that he and Guardiola spent many late nights drinking wine together
Emphasising how close they continue to be, Rummenigge disclosed: ‘Pep and I text each other, he’s not a fan of WhatsApp.
‘We wrote to each other on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we are in regular contact. A real friendship has developed.’
Another person to share fond memories of his time under the Spanish manager is former Bayern and Germany captain Philipp Lahm.
Philipp Lahm also shared fond memories of Guardiola, who turned him into a midfielder
Lahm (left) said Guardiola (right) ‘sharpens the understanding of of each individual player’
Guardiola, renowned for shifting top-class players from their regular positions into new areas of the field, did exactly that to Lahm, turning him into a star defensive midfielder from his familiar right-back berth.
‘He sharpens the understanding of each individual player for his position and makes it clear how the whole team should play,’ Lahm said. ‘In the autumn of my career, that was definitely the ideal discussion for me.’
Guardiola, who turns 50 on Monday, has committed himself to Manchester City for at least another two years after signing a contract extension in November, far exceeding the three years spent at Bayern.