presented by
Exclusive: FCB chairman

Rummenigge: Pep has fantastic ideas

Pre-season is slowly but surely reaching a crucial stage. The first competitive fixture is on Saturday with the DFL Super Cup in Dortmund, followed by the DFB Cup first round two weeks from now and the Bundesliga restart fixture four days after that. sat down with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to hear the Bayern chairman's thoughts on the first four weeks of pre-season. Rummenigge also looked ahead to the prestige meetings with Barcelona and Dortmund, and expressed admiration for Pep Guardiola's work and training methods: “It makes me want to go out there and join in."

Interview: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, FCB have won a first, albeit minor trophy of the new season. What did you think of the performance at the Telekom Cup?
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: I really enjoyed both matches, because we didn't simply win, we played really attractive football and scored some fantastic goals. You can see the team has already worked its way to a high level, in terms of fitness and also tactically, after just a short period of pre-season. We can be positive about the future.

Some Bundesliga personalities say they fear Bayern will again crush the rest of the league. How would you assess the success at the Telekom Cup?
We mustn't make the mistake of thinking we have to justify good performances. The task for the coach, the players and the management is to do as good a job as possible. We're happy about winning the Telekom Cup, although it can only tell us a limited amount. However, it’s evidence of the team being in good shape even at this early stage.

New signing Thiago really caught the eye in Mönchengladbach. What did you think of him?
We only completed the transfer a week ago, and he trained with the team for the first time three days before the Telekom Cup, so it was a genuinely promising display. You can see he's a complete player. He has exceptionally good technique, and he's completely taken on board our tactics, partly due to the fact he's already worked under Pep. I think we're going to get a lot out of Thiago.

Pep Guardiola has experimented a great deal so far, fielding Philipp Lahm in midfield for example. What do you think of these experiments?
It's very good, because I think it'll be almost impossible for future opponents to plan for playing Bayern. Pep believes every player should be able to fill a number of positions. I find that very interesting, and - looking at how the players have coped so far - very promising as well. The players are very keen and extremely enthusiastic. They're enjoying the new things Pep has introduced.