Pep Guardiola's move to be the new FC Bayern München manager is more than just headlines or a 'win over the Premier League'. It is proof, because there has been an apparent need for some, that the Bundesliga is good enough to host the best and that quite frankly, there is plenty of alluring football outside of England's top flight.
The Bundesliga has rocked Europe this year as all of its representatives have impressed in their respective European competitions. Along with Bayern, Schalke and Dortmund topped their respective Champions League groups and every German side in the Europa League progressed to the knockout rounds. For those who have been following the Bundesliga for more than just this year, they will know that this has been a planned piece of progress. Germany have been producing excellent players since the turn of the millennium, so to see them excel in Europe is no real surprise. Dortmund's electric play and impressive results simply support Bayern München's already fantastic European record and the inclusion of more than just one German club has made Europe sit up and take notice. Now, the league has more eyes on it than ever before and rightfully so.
Bayern München are one of the best-run clubs in the world. They are legitimately wealthy, unusual for a lot of football clubs these days, and have a great crop of potentially world-class players at their disposal. And now, after all the rumours, they have just signed one of the youngest and most talented managers of the modern footballing era, matching their strategic plan to increase their international recognition in the process. A perfect fit? Many would certainly say so. Abramovich's Chelsea hardly have the makings of a club that Pep would appear to enjoy, not to mention the fact the puppet corner he'd find himself in. As for Manchester City, the lure of the money isn't what gets Guardiola thinking, that much has been clear for some time. Manchester United remains a possibility though, and more proof of his ability at Bayern would certainly put one of the other contenders, José Mourinho, under pressure.
That in itself is what the sporting world are looking at. Or at least, should be. There is no taking away from Guardiola's fourteen trophies at Barcelona but the squad he did it with had some of the best footballing players of all time. Organising them and getting them playing at a consistently high level is certainly down to him and his coaching staff, but having them there at his disposal is simply a great turn of fate. Now starts the real test. Not because Bayern are not good enough but because they are a different club, in a different league with different players. Applying the 'Guardiola theory' to Bayern is a new concept and one that will take time. Refreshingly, Bayern München are definitely the club to give him that, which appears to be a further reason for Pep picking the Bundesliga club.
In Franck Ribéry, Manuel Neuer and Philipp Lahm he has three world-class players and there are more than enough capable of eventually achieving that status if they keep improving at the rate they are. Danté, Toni Kroos, David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, Javi Martinez, Thomas Müller, Luiz Gustavo and Xherdan Shaqiri are all capable of becoming world-class players. That's 8 potentially world-class players. Eight. The best part is that they are not far from that immortal footballing status. Pep knows this. The likes of Mario Gomez, Mario Mandzukic, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben may not be world-class but are still excellent players to have in your squad. Pep knows this too. As a whole, Bayern certainly have the depth in quality that any top side needs. Under Guardiola, it certainly seems as if they have found not the final piece but the next, logical piece in the Bayern puzzle. And even if he doesn't know it, Pep certainly believes in it.