Bayern Munich defender Juan Bernat said he and his team-mates have to respect Pep Guardiola’s decision to leave the Bundesliga club.
Guardiola revealed he will depart the reigning champions at the end of the season, motivated by a move to the Premier League in England.
The Spaniard has been at Bayern since 2013 after five years as the coach of Barcelona, where he guided the club to 14 trophies.
Guardiola has won back-to-back Bundesliga titles with Bayern and is on track to make it three in a row with the club sitting atop the league with an eight-point advantage over second place Borussia Dortmund.
Bernat, who was brought in by Guardiola in 2014, said he was indebted to the 44-year-old.
“In the end it is his decision [to leave] and we all have to respect it,” Bernat told TZ.de.
“He is now two-and-a-half years here and his contract runs out at the end of this season, and it was a time to make decisions.
“Personally, I owe him a lot, after all he was the one who wanted me here at Bayern.
“Therefore I have nothing but gratitude and hope we have a successful end to the year with him.”
Carlo Ancelotti was announced as Guardiola’s successor, and Bernat said he is excited to have him on board from next season onwards.
“He is another great coach that of course accomplished ‘La Decima’ with Real Madrid,” he said.
“Everyone knows he is a top coach and he wouldn’t be with us otherwise. But still, Pep is the one who is here and we want to give him the best possible farewell.”