Guardiola more German than a German, jokes Rummenigge

The Bayern supremo has praised the Spaniard’s attitude and is confident he will not leave the club any time soon

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has praised Pep Guardiola’s work ethic, joking that the former Barcelona coach is “more German than the Germans”.

The 44-year-old is renowned for his dedication and commitment and Rummenigge believes he’s an example for all to follow.

“Guardiola works incredibly hard. He is more German than the Germans when it comes to his work ethic,” Rummenigge told Kicker.

“When the players have all long returned home and are relaxing on the sofa, Guardiola is still around and working on a masterplan for the next game.”

The Bayern chief also had his say on Guardiola’s future at the club, with the Catalan having been recently linked with a return to Barcelona.

“Guardiola will still be our coach next season,” he added. “We believe in each other. I hope that Pep will remain at Bayern for a long time.

“He does not want to commit his future to Bayern at this stage, but he will stay here so long as he and his family feel well here.

“The coach is not a source of unrest at Bayern, but he is not the calmest person around either. He is determined to help the team to the next level on a permanent basis.”

Guardiola took charge of Bayern in the summer of 2013 and led the Bavarians to a league-and-cup double in his first season at the helm. 

'Bayern have no Plan B if Guardiola quits'

Reports on Monday claimed the 44-year-old won’t sign a new contract and will instead depart the Allianz Arena in the summer

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has admitted the club have no Plan B if coach Pep Guardiola decides to quit the club at the end of the season.

Just 18 months remain on the three-year deal the former Barcelona boss signed upon joining the club in the summer of 2013.

Reports in the English press on Monday claimed the 44-year-old could even depart the Allianz Arena in the summer and Rummenigge said Bayern would be caught cold if he opted to do so.

Asked by Kicker whether the Bavarians had a Plan B, he said: “There is only a Plan A, and that means Guardiola.

“If he and his family feel at home, he remains. If not, we would have to deal with it in a relaxed way.”

Guardiola himself stated over the weekend that he will wait until the summer to open talks over a new contract, adding: “We still have time to talk about that after the end of the season.

“It has been a big challenge for me. I have had a great time and it was a dream come true to be Bayern coach.”

The Spaniard won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Uefa Super Cup and Club World Cup in his first season in charge, adding to the 14 trophies he won in four years at Barcelona.

Schweinsteiger relaxed over Bayern deal

The midfielder’s current deal expires in June 2016 and although no talks are yet planned to extend his contract, the 30-year-old is not concerned about his future

Bastian Schweinsteiger says he feels under no pressure to commit his long-term future to Bayern Munich despite only having 18 months to run on his contract.

The midfielder’s deal at the Allianz Arena expires at the end of next season, but he does not see the need to enter into talks just yet.

Schweinsteiger, 30, has previously been linked with moves away from Bayern, with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea reportedly interested in his signature.

“I have no pressure,” he told Sport 1 when asked about extending his contract. “I know what Bayern Munich means to me and Bayern Munich also knows what they have in me. We know each other very well. 

“I feel very good again and I have gathered a lot of experience. I aim to play for three or four years at the highest level.”

However, Schweinsteiger – who only made eight appearances in the first half of the season due to a troublesome knee injury – does hope head coach Pep Guardiola signs fresh terms.

He added: “There are not so many coaches [like him] in the world, and the people responsible for Bayern know that.

“Of course, I would be glad if he would extend.”

De Bruyne could join Bayern Munich, admits Allofs

The 2009 Bundesliga champions have admitted that they could lose the creative midfielder if the Bavarians came knocking

Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs has acknowledged that the Bundesliga outfit might struggle to hold on to star player Kevin De Bruyne if Bayern Munich were to make a move.

The Belgium international, 23, has been in sublime form for Wolfsburg since joining them from Chelsea in January 2014 and the reigning German champions are believed to be keeping a close eye on his situation at the Volkswagen Arena.

“We might have to let go of certain players,” Allofs told Kicker when questioned about potential departures.

“Of course, Kevin has the potential to play for Bayern Munich. But he also needs the right conditions in order to do shine and to be given the right role. That’s the case at Wolfsburg, but I don’t know whether he fits Pep Guardiola’s philosophy.

“We got lucky that Kevin was unhappy at Chelsea when we signed him. It didn’t work out for him under Jose Mourinho. Unlike Wolfsburg, Bayern are capable of signing big names even if they are happy at their club, though.”

De Bruyne has netted three goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances so far this term, while providing 10 assists.

The former Genk star has a contract with Wolfsburg until June 2019.

Bayern not bearing Odegaard grudge, insists Rummenigge

The Bavarians were close to signing the attacking midfielder, but have accepted his decision to eventually sign for Real Madrid instead

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has stressed that Bayern Munich are not bearing a grudge against Martin Odegaard over his decision to join Real Madrid.

The Bundesliga champions were keen to sign the Norway international and were believed to be sitting in pole position to land the 16-year-old, only for Odegaard to eventually sign with Madrid.

Bayern are not holding any hard feelings towards the attacking midfielder, though, and have congratulated the Champions League holders with the capture of the gifted youngster.

“It was clear right from the start that it would not be easy to sign Odegaard,” Rummenigge told TZ.

“Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid and some German clubs were all after his signature. I can only congratulate Real Madrid.

“I wish Martin all the best for the future. He and his father were very sympathetic and serious when they visited Bayern.

“There was nothing strange about him visiting so many clubs. He did it with a clear objective. He simply wanted to get some insight at each club.

“Perhaps Madrid were a bit more attractive an option than Bayern in the end. I don’t think this was about money.”

There isn't much difference between Bayern and Real Madrid – Kroos

The midfielder says he is happy to play alongside stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, but admits the European champions and his old side are at a similar level

Toni Kroos believes there is not a great difference in quality between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

The midfielder joined the Spanish giants from Bayern in the summer after the Blancos won the Champions League, demolishing the Bundesliga side 5-0 on aggregate.

Kroos has already won the Uefa Supercup and the Club World Cup in his first season with Carlo Ancelotti’s men and is targeting more success this term, but admits he has not made a massive step up in moving from Bavaria to the Spanish capital.

“Playing with stars like Cristiano Ronaldo has been brilliant,” he told the DFB website. “But at Bayern I also shared a dressing room with world class players.

“As for the sporting level there is not much difference between the clubs. Both are top teams. So far I’m having a great time. The first half of the season was good, but I hope we have a very successful season finale.

“I feel very comfortable here. Of course I had to adapt to some things. The mentality and way of life here are very different than in Germany, but I get along very well with everyone and I am very happy.

“I am very pleased with the signing.”

Bayern want invincible season – Robben

Unbeaten after 17 Bundesliga fixtures this season, the Netherlands international has set his sights on an historic title win in Bavaria

Arjen Robben insists Bayern Munich are targeting an historic, unbeaten Bundesliga-winning campaign. 

Guardiola’s side resume league action on January 30th against second-placed Wolfsburg after a productive training camp during the mid-season break and a 5-1 friendly win over Bochum on Friday, where Robben was on target twice. 

Bayern were dominant in the first half of the 2014-15 Bundesliga season, with 14 wins in their 17 matches giving them an 11-point advantage over nearest rivals Wolfsburg. 

And winger Robben has warned the rest of the league that Bayern do not intend to let their performance levels slip in the title race.

“I hope we are ready,” said the Netherlands international. “We still have a week of training and you have to use the time well.

“We did a good job, especially in our training camp in Qatar, and now we want to move on. 

“We simply must have the mindset that we want to win every game. It begins with the first match. 

“In it, we can already make a really big step. We play against the team in second. If we win, we have a 14-point lead and that must be the goal. We have to keep moving forward.”

Bochum 1-5 Bayern Munich: Birthday boy Robben runs the show in friendly thrashing

The Dutchman bagged a double and set up another two goals as the Bundesliga giants continued their preparation for Bundesliga’s second half of the season in style

Birthday boy Arjen Robben scored twice and had a hand in two other goals as Bayern Munich came from behind to win 5-1 at Bochum in their final friendly before the Bundesliga resumes following a mid-season break. 

Robben - who turned 31 on Friday - cancelled out Danny Latza’s superb opener before Dante met the Dutchman’s corner with a powerful downward header to put Bayern ahead on the stroke of half-time. 

Second-half substitute Mario Gotze netted within three minutes of his introduction following a slick passing move involving Robben and Franck Ribery. 

And Robben put the seal on fantastic individual display with a superb 20-yard curler 12 minutes from time before Sebastian Rode’s close-range finish completed the rout. 

Pep Guardiola will be pleased with the professionalism shown by his Bayern players, who return to Bundesliga action at Wolfsburg next Friday. 

Latza put the hosts - 11th in the second tier of German football - ahead in style after just five minutes. 

Stefano Celozzi’s cross was only headed clear as far as Latza on the edge of the penalty area and he struck a sweet first-time volley across Manuel Neuer. 

Bochum goalkeeper Michael Esser denied Robert Lewandowski and Robben saw a shot curl just wide before Bayern’s positive response to going behind led to the equaliser. 

Robben played a neat one-two with Thomas Muller that saw the Germany striker backheel the ball into the path of his team-mate to coolly slot home.  

Bayern edged ahead when Dante slipped away from his marker to nod Robben’s inswinging corner low past Esser. 

Robben, Ribery and Gotze combined to allow the latter to make an instant impact following his 63rd-minute introduction from the bench. 

Fifteen minutes later came the pick of the goals as Robben dispossessed a Bochum player, cut in from the right and curled into the top corner before he was substituted to avoid risk of injury. 

Rode got in on the act with six minutes remaining when a failed headed clearance allowed him to poke home as Bayern were at their ruthless best.

'Odegaard wrong to snub Bayern and Guardiola'

The Norwegian prospect completed a move to Real Madrid this week but would have been better off at the Allianz Arena, according to one of the club’s coaches

Pep Guardiola’s assistant coach Hermann Gerland believes Martin Odegaard would have been better off at Bayern Munich than at Real Madrid.

The Norway international, 16, completed his move from Stromsgodset to Madrid earlier this week, snubbing interest from Bayern as well as a number of other European clubs.

However, Gerland believes the attacking midfielder made the wrong decision to join the Santiago Bernabeu side and feels the Bundesliga champions would have been a better destination.

“When so much is written about a 16-year-old, he’s got to be an extraordinary player,” Gerland told reporters.

“I briefly spoke with him and I told him that he should pick the club with the best coach. And for me, the best coach works for Bayern.

“Guardiola would have been perfect for him and knows how to deal with young players.”

Madrid’s head of public relations, Emilio Butragueno, stated on Thursday that Odegaard will be focused on featuring for Madrid’s reserves this season, with the occasional chance of playing for the first team. 

“Martin will train with the first team and with Castilla and he will play for Castilla until the end of the season, but if Carlo Ancelotti wants to call him up to the first team, he will be at the coach’s disposition.”

Ribery: Ballon d'Or is Messi and Ronaldo's party

The Frenchman has again voiced his dismay with the outcome of the prestigious individual award in recent years and is ready to boycott the ceremony

Bayern Munich attacker Franck Ribery feels it is impossible for any player to win the Fifa Ballon d’Or as long as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are around and has once more voiced his opinion that the award is all about politics.

Messi and Ronaldo have won the last seven editions of the award among them and Ribery believes there’s no way to dethrone the duo, irrespective of what a player has achieved, before hinting at a potential boycott in the future.

“So long as Ronaldo and Messi are around, the third player who gets nominated should realise that he does not stand a chance,” Ribery told AZ.

“It’s the same story all over again each and every year. I don’t know what one should achieve to win this award. Even winning the World Cup is apparently no longer enough.

“[Manuel] Neuer has been the best goalkeeper in the world for two or three years now. He won trophies with Bayern, won the World Cup and was the best goalkeeper in Brazil. Apparently, that’s not enough, though. I simply don’t understand it.

“When another Bayern player gets nominated, we should have a discussion whether it’s even worth going. What’s the point? To get your picture taken? It’s just politics for me.”

The ex-France international had to settle for third spot in the vote in 2013 – despite playing a key role in Bayern’s historic treble that year – while Neuer also came in third in 2014 after helping Germany to the world title in Brazil.

(c) 2009-2012