Guardiola is 'the best' and will be missed, admits Tuchel

The Spaniard will depart the Bavarians for the Premier League after the DFB-Pokal final clash with their Bundesliga rivals following a successful three years at the helm

Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Pep Guardiola will be missed in Germany when he swaps Bayern Munich for Manchester City.

Guardiola’s last match in charge of Bayern comes on Saturday when the Bundesliga champions take on Tuchel’s Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final.

After taking over in the summer of 2013, the former Barcelona coach secured consecutive league titles each year but never progressed past the final four of the Champions League.

Speaking at Friday’s pre-match news conference, Tuchel said: “Guardiola’s teams always have something special.

GOALREAD MORE  | Hoeness: Relentless Bayern are favourites for DFB-Pokal crown

“It is always something special to measure yourself against the best and Pep is the best. So his departure will be a big loss to German football.

“Of course, I could say that it will be nice that I will no longer face his team, but it would be more honest to say he will be missed.”

Tuchel has impressed in his first season in charge of BVB after replacing Jurgen Klopp and he is delighted with the progress the team has made throughout 2015-16.

“We deliberately did not distance ourselves from anything Klopp did. We did not try to be different. We just tried to help the team develop and did it in our own way,” Tuchel added.

“What matters most is that you can see what the players have done. It is a matter of giving and taking. You try to help each other reach a new level and the players and coached did that to each other.”

Saturday marks Dortmund’s third Pokal final in as many years – having lost on each occasion – and their boss continued: “We do not accept the underdog tag. We want to win.”

Guardiola to focus solely on football matters at Man City

The current Bayern Munich boss insists he will concentrate on his work on the pitch and leave the business side of things to others at the Etihad Stadium

Pep Guardiola has stressed that he will not take on a traditional manager role at Manchester City, but will focus on his work on the pitch instead.

The 45-year-old will leave Bayern Munich for City after Saturday’s DFB-Pokal final with Borussia Dortmund and personnel changes are expected upon his arrival at the Etihad Stadium.

However, Guardiola – who has worked alongside a sporting director at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the past – has stressed that his job is all about coaching as he aims to leave the business side of the job to others.

“I am a coach and a coach only,” Guardiola stressed at a news conference when asked about the job as manager in England.

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“And I will only be a coach at Manchester City next season as well.”

Guardiola will be working with sporting director Txiki Begiristain at City, with whom he previously teamed up at Barcelona between 2008 and 2010.

Hoeness: Relentless Bayern are favourites for DFB-Pokal crown

The former Roten striker is confident Pep Guardiola will sign off with a win against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, though Thomas Tuchel’s men will be up for the challenge

Dieter Hoeness is confident there will be no let-up from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich when they face Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final on Saturday.

Bayern clinched the league title this month and will hope to complete another domestic double by seeing off Thomas Tuchel’s men at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

The game is Pep Guardiola’s last in charge of Bayern before he joins Manchester City and Hoeness believes that will give the players even more motivation.

He told Omnisport: “I think winning the cup is extremely important for Pep Guardiola, because he wants to say goodbye with a title.

“And I also think the players are crazy about that, because they are playing against the other best team in Germany. It’s a prestige game.

“Bayern won’t say ‘now we’re champions, we’re satisfied’. They want to show – once again – they are the best German team, also in the cup. We can look forward to a great game.”

Hoeness, whose brother Uli was Bayern president before being imprisoned for tax evasion, makes Guardiola’s men favourites, adding: “I think Bayern are the favorites, no question.

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“Dortmund will want to win 100 per cent. They have the chance to beat their rival in one game, they will be all fired up. But if Bayern have the right mentality, attitude and motivation they will win, because overall they have an even better team than Dortmund.

“In such a game it’s about giving your best one more time, but the danger is higher if you play against an underdog. 

“I don’t worry much about Bayern. I don’t worry about their motivation. It’s one game and a lot can happen. As I said it will be a great game, because two teams who want to win at all costs will meet.” 

Saturday’s encounter will be a final outing in Dortmund colours for Mats Hummels before he rejoins Bayern after the clubs agreed a fee reported to be in the region of €35 million.

Hoeness believes Bayern targeted the Germany international to strengthen their quest to win the Champions League, rather than weaken a domestic rival.

He said: “It’s a long time since this was typical of Bayern, to weaken a direct rival. When the Bundesliga was a bit more balanced this was an aim. Nowadays Bayern try to get the best players worldwide.

“It’s normal that if you want a central defender, a position where the club has some problems through injuries, you want to have one of the best. And if this player is in Germany, you’ll get him. That has nothing to do with weakening your rival.

“Mats Hummels belongs with the best central defenders. With [Jerome] Boateng and Hummels, Bayern will be a little stronger and that’s exactly the aim. They want to win the Champions League and therefore you need the best players.”

Bayern Munich's Gotze out of DFB-Pokal final with broken rib

The German midfielder has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against Borussia Dortmund but the Bavarian side insist he is not in danger of missing Euro 2016

Mario Gotze will miss Saturday’s DFB-Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund after suffering a broken rib, Bayern Munich have announced.

It is not clear how Gotze sustained the injury but Bayern are confident it will not rule the Germany international out of this summer’s European Championship.

A tweet from Bayern read: “Mario Gotze is out of the DFB-Pokal final. The world champion suffered a broken rib last week and is sidelined, but is fine for Euro 2016.”

. @MarioGoetze is out of the #DFBCup final. The world champion suffered a broken rib last week and is sidelined, but is fine for #EURO2016 .

— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 20, 2016

The news caps a miserable season for Gotze, who missed more than four months with a groin injury sustained on international duty, restricting him to just 21 appearances in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s men.

His absence at the Olympiastadion will also fuel speculation that he has played his last game for Bayern.

Gotze, who moved south from Dortmund in 2013, has been linked with a move back to Signal Iduna Park while Liverpool, now coached by former BVB boss Jurgen Klopp, are also credited with an interest.

Germany boss Joachim Low hinted he would prefer Gotze, who scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina, to seek a transfer if it meant more regular playing time.

GOALREAD MORE  | Liverpool wait for Gotze commitment

He told the Suddeutsche Zeitung on Friday: “Generally speaking, sometimes a transfer can set free new energy. Look at Toni Kroos, he was on top at Bayern but made the next step at Real Madrid.

“What Mario needs is trust. He needs a coach who wants him in his team by all means. But that is no criticism of Bayern, let alone Pep Guardiola.

“Mario’s attitude is exemplary. There are other cases of players waning after a tournament and such hype. I don’t have that feeling with Mario. He will find a way through this situation.”

Hitzfeld backs Aubameyang to down Bayern in Pokal final

The former coach says Borussia Dortmund have been “sensational” in attack this season and believes the Gabon international will work his magic in Saturday’s cup final

Ottmar Hitzfeld is backing Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to hit top form in Saturday’s DFB-Pokal final against rivals Bayern Munich.

Gabon forward Aubameyang has enjoyed a magnificent season, with 39 goals across 48 matches in all competitions, although he only managed three in his last nine Bundesliga outings.

Hitzfeld, who managed both finalists during his esteemed career, believes this drop-off was inevitable as Bayern ran away with the top-flight title and he expects Thomas Tuchel’s gifted forward line to be back up to speed at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

“I want to emphasize that the offense of Dortmund played sensationally this season,” he told Omnisport.

“With Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Shinji Kagawa, Marco Reus… it was fantastic to watch and for sure, when you lose some pressure, everybody ceases a little bit, also Aubameyang did.

“But nevertheless he played a fantastic season, scored 25 goals, lots of dribbling. He’s lightning-fast, is able to show his jumping power in the box on headers.

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“He can go one-on-one, is a bit faster than Robert Lewandowski and I’m sure that Aubameyang will burn again in the cup final.”

Dortmund full-back Marcel Schmelzer has suggested Tuchel will employ his normal attacking tactics against Pep Guardiola’s side.

Bayern won 5-1 in the October Bundesliga meeting at the Allianz Arena before a cagier 0-0 affair at Signal Iduna Park this term, but Hitzfeld believes Tuchel would be right to stick to his guns.

“Thomas Tuchel is used to facing Bayern with Dortmund,” he said. “He will adjust his team to be aggressive, he’ll try to force Bayern into defending because they have problems there.

“If you just try to defend, you’ll be crushed by Bayern’s playing, art and their pressing.

“So you have to try to generate pressure on them by yourself because in the defence, Bayern has their problems – especially in getting hit by counter-attacks.

“With quick attacks on both sides, try to put pressure on them with Dortmund’s full-backs, go on one-on-one.

“Then Bayern has problems, like the most teams would also have. And Dortmund probably will try to make use of that.”