Pep Guardiola: Ferguson almost rumbled my Bayern appointment
Pep Guardiola reveals Sir Alex Ferguson almost rumbled his move to Bayern Munich after bumping into Uli Hoeness in New York
- Pep Guardiola became Bayern Munich manager after meeting Uli Hoeness during his New York sabbatical in 2012
- Bayern president Hoeness had been on business trip for his sausage company
- He spent a few hours with Guardiola before flying back, sealing the appointment
- But the deal was almost rumbled by Manchester United manager Ferguson
- He was in the same restaurant Hoeness wanted to take Guardiola to
- Guardiola has spoken of his respect for the legendary United manager
Pep Guardiola has spoken about how Sir Alex Ferguson almost rumbled his appointment as Bayern Munich manager after bumping into Uli Hoeness by chance in New York.
The former Barcelona manager was on a sabbatical in the American city in 2012 when Bayern president Hoeness, the son of a butcher who is co-owner of a sausage company, went to Chicago to visit supermarket chain Aldi.
It was on his way back that he went to see Guardiola in New York and, in the space of just a few hours, convinced him to succeed Jupp Heynckes at Bayern in the summer of 2013.
Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Sir Alex Ferguson almost rumbled his Bayern Munich appointment after a chance meeting with Bayern president Uli Hoeness in New York
Ferguson, then Manchester United manager, was dining at the same New York restaurant Hoeness wanted to take Guardiola to
But the secret rendezvous was nearly rumbled by Manchester United manager Ferguson, who was visiting New York at the same time.
Luckily, Hoeness could fall back on his sausage business to throw the Scot off the scent.
‘That is true. Uli has a big, big company for sausages in Germany. They are really good,’ Guardiola, now Manchester City manager, told BBC Radio 5 Live.
‘They met each other. Sir Alex invited me to have dinner together before and after he met Uli. That happened.’
Hoeness, now Bayern Munich president, convinced Guardiola to become manager on his way back from a sausage-selling visit to Chicago
Hoeness (left) with Guardiola and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (right) at his 2013 unveiling
Hoeness gave his account of the chance meeting to German newspaper Bild in December 2013, saying: ‘It was partly a business trip for my company.
‘I went to Chicago first to visit Aldi. I knew that Pep was about to fly to Barcelona for his holidays and that a meeting there would have been far more dangerous, so we decided I would meet him in the States, where the risk of being spotted was smaller.
‘I wanted to take him out for a meal, but that night Alex Ferguson was dining in the very same restaurant.
‘It certainly would not have been funny had he seen me and Pep together.’
Guardiola said he has benefited from Ferguson’s words of wisdom since the legendary Manchester United manager retired in 2013.
Guardiola shows off the Bundesliga trophy after Bayern’s title success in 2014
‘When I was a Barcelona player, around 20 or 21 years old, sometimes at Christmas time I came to buy books in London and I bought an autobiography of Sir Alex,’ he said.
‘It was not possible to become one of his players at the end of my career but after we played each other in Barcelona, I met him as a person and he is fantastic.
‘That is a joy of being a manager in football, to meet extraordinary people. I am very happy he is recovering well [from his brain haemorrage] and when I saw him at Old Trafford again with all the people clapping, he deserved it.
‘All our respect, I am so glad he is coming back [to health].’
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