Guardiola's a modern great, insists Menotti

The former Argentina boss has nothing but praise for the Bayern coach and is not surprised with his successful start at the Allianz Arena

Former Argentina boss Cesar Menotti has taken the time to praise Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola following his fine start to life at the Bundesliga champions and has described the Spaniard as “one of the greats of his time”.

Guardiola replaced Jupp Heynckes at the helm at the Allianz Arena at the start of the season and has since guided them to the European Super Cup and Club World Cup, while they have also impressed in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

“He had to deal with incredibly high expectations after last season, but he has dealt with the challenge superbly so far,” Menotti was quoted as saying by TZ.

“That’s hardly a surprise, though. Guardiola is one of the greats of his time, because he represents a clear philosophy.

“Guardiola has achieved something that very few coaches have done. Whenever he enters the dressing room and greets his players, they all know how to behave out there on the pitch.”

Menotti guided Argentina to World Cup glory in 1978 and also coached the likes of Barcelona, Boca Juniors and Atletico Madrid throughout his career.

Badstuber refuses to give up on World Cup 'dream'

The 24-year-old has undergone four operations on his right knee over the past 13 months but is confident that he can force his way back into Joachim Low’s squad by the summer

Bayern Munich and Germany defender Holger Badstuber is optimistic about his chances of being fit for the World Cup, claiming his “Brazil dream” is still alive.

The 24-year-old has been out of action for 13 months with knee ligament damage and it is not yet known when he will be fit to return to action.

However, Badstuber, who has undergone four operations, believes that he can win back his place in the Germany squad in time for Brazil 2014.

“If the rehab goes positively, I progress quickly when I’m fit again and I get back into a rhythm, why should I write off my World Cup chances?” the centre-half stated in an interview with Bild.

“The World Cup was always my desire and my Brazil dream lives on.”

Neuer: Ter Stegen is a sensational goalkeeper

The Bayern Munich shot-stopper has praised his compatriot amid rumours that the Gladbach man is on his way to Barcelona

Germany international Manuel Neuer believes Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has a bright future ahead of him amid ongoing rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona.

The Blaugrana have earmarked the 21-year-old as a potential replacement for current first choice goalkeeper Victor Valdes, whose contract expires at the end of the season and will not be coaxed into signing a new deal.

And Neuer feels the Gladbach star has the potential to become one of the best in his position.

“There is no doubt about it that Ter Stegen is a great goalkeeper. He is a player with a big future ahead of him,” Neuer was quoted as saying by AS when questioned about his compatriot.

“He is sensational. He is very agile and always knows how to deal with complicated situations. He is a superb shot-stopper.

“I don’t know whether he’s ready to play for a team like Barcelona yet. That’s a decision their technical staff will have to make.”

Ter Stegen’s contract with Monchengladbach runs until the summer of 2015.

Gotze and Thiago are magnificent, says Lahm

The Bayern skipper has hailed the midfielders’ contribution so far and believes the reigning German champions can only get better

Philipp Lahm says Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara have already proven to be valuable additions for Bayern Munich over the past few months.

Gotze and Thiago joined Bayern from Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona respectively ahead of the 2013-14 campaign and Lahm is pleased with their contribution in the first half of the season.

“We at Bayern can be delighted we’re able to attract players of Thiago and Gotze’s calibre,” Lahm was quoted as saying on the official Bayern website.

“They’re both magnificent footballers with outstanding technique. It’s a pleasure watching the pair of them play.

“And they’re a perfect fit in terms of character. Both settled in immediately.”

The Germany international then went on to discuss Bayern’s performances so far this campaign and stressed that they need to be more ruthless in killing teams off.

“We need to dominate our opponents for the full 90 minutes in even more matches,” he continued.

“We’ve eased off at times this season so far and let our opponents back into games. That can’t be happening on a regular basis.

“We’re heading in the right direction but it can certainly get even better. We saw what’s possible in our matches away to Manchester City and Leverkusen. We need more performances like those.”

Bayern resume Bundesliga action on January 25 when they travel to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Lahm: Bayern driven by 2012 heartache

The Bayern Munich full-back believes the disappointment of 2012, where they lost the Champions League, DFB Pokal and finished Bundesliga runners-up spurred them on this year

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm insists the heartache and bitter disappointment felt in 2012, drove them on to success in an “unbelievable” 2013.

Currently enjoying the Bundesliga’s mid-season break, Lahm reflected on an exhausting year that saw Bayern win a staggering five trophies.

The Bundesliga title set them going – the Bavarian giants won the title by a staggering 25 points from Borussia Dortmund – before they lifted the Champions League trophy for the fifth time in their history.

Success in the DFB-Pokal, Super Cup and Club World Cup has followed, and Lahm believes because they channelled their feelings of anger and frustration in 2012, they were able to come back even stronger.

“There were two possible outcomes after the final in 2012: either we fell apart as a team, or we grew even closer together,” he told the club’s official website.

“The second of these is what happened. This footballing tragedy and our bitter tears of grief released incredible inner strength.

“That was our biggest trump card. On top of that, the squad was and is very, very strong. Every man stepped up when he was needed.

Lahm says victory over Raja Casablanca in the Club World Cup final was the perfect way to end an incredible 2013.

“But the Club World Cup was another highlight to end the year,” he continued. “It was easy to summon up our last reserves of energy, and it was the perfect end to an unbelievable year.

“The tournament in Morocco was a fantastic new experience, and who knows whether I’ll ever experience it again?

“Obviously I hope so, but we all know how difficult it is to win the Champions League.”

When asked to name a highlight of 2013, Lahm said it was an easy decision, nominating the club’s 2-1 win over Dortmund in the Champions League final.

“(If) I have to choose then obviously it’s the moment I lifted the European Cup in London,” he added.

“I can’t really put my feeling of happiness into words. Our hard work paid off at last, it worked out for us at last, and I finally had the thing in my hands.

“It was so thrilling and a magnificent moment.”