Before leaving Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola was asked about his potential successor. Without any hesitation, he shot out: “Thomas, you have to bring him to Bayern,” he told the club’s management. By the time they met Thomas — Thomas Tuchel, that is, the Chelsea manager he would encounter in the Champions League final — he had already committed to Borussia Dortmund. But it showed how much Guardiola rated the German manager.
Theirs is a bond forged not so much on the field as it was on dinner tables at bars in Munich and Mainz, hours discussing football and football philosophies and dissecting tactics and formations, deep into the night, using salt and pepper mills like pawns on a chessboard. To quote the largely passive onlooker Michael Reschke – who has had a long career in football management and administration himself – who recounted one of their meetings to athletic.com: “It was like watching two grandmasters of chess, Fischer vs Spassky, locked in a battle of wits. Or Cicero and Socrates, discussing football philosophy.”
It gives an idea of the exchange between two great footballing intellectuals of this era, at contrasting spectrums of the footballing scale. A decorated player-manager and a failed-player-turned-bartender-turned-manager still cutting his teeth at the highest level.
News Source: The Indian Express