Pep Guardiola’s last game in charge of Bayern Munich should have been the Champions League final, the club’s executive board chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said after the coach bowed out by lifting the DFB-Pokal.
Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw in the Berlin showpiece, allowing an emotional Guardiola to exit the Allianz Arena on a high.
Guardiola will now be heading to Manchester City for a new challenge in the Premier League and Rummenigge hailed his leadership, while bemoaning Bayern’s European exit to Atletico Madrid.
Bayern lost in the Champions League semi-finals for the third year in a row, going out on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw with Atletico despite winning the second leg 2-1 at the Allianz Arena.
“I want to point out one person this evening and that is Pep Guardiola. We experienced three years with Pep. I can tell you it was three great years. We have won many titles, [the Pokal] was the seventh,” Rummenigge said.
“But I have to admit one thing annoys me a little bit, and that is we are only living together for one more week.
“If we review this Champions League season, we won in the round of the last 16 here in Munich against Juventus with 4-2 after extra time, in the quarter-final against Benfica we played 1-0 and 2-2.
“Then we played such a great game in Munich against Atletico Madrid and we deserved to play next week in Milan. That annoys me a little bit.
“It was three intense years with Pep. It was three very successful years, and not just because of the titles. I think, we learned a lot off Pep. We learned a lot from him on the pitch.”
Rummenigge added that he does not believe Bayern would have been so successful in the last three years had another coach been appointed to replace Jupp Heynckes, who led the club to a Bundesliga, Pokal and Champions League treble in 2013.
“I can tell you one thing: We have won the treble in 2013 and I am telling you, without Pep we would not have won the double in the following year, as well as the Club World Cup and Super Cup,” he added.
“Normally you have big problems after such a successful year and you have to invest a lot to have success. Thanks to this man we did not have a depression and we experienced a success story never seen before.
“I think we can be proud of this team, which has great character, which gives everything they have got on every Saturday and every Wednesday, which won title after title, but also has a great character beside the pitch.”