On July 26, 2011, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness were sitting in the VIP restaurant at the Allianz Arena when a man with a shaved head walked in and sat down at a table. He was alone. When they recognized who he was, Rummenigge stood up and went over to say hello to football coach Pep Guardiola. "Can I speak with you for a moment?" Guardiola asked. Rummenigge asked Hoeness to join them, and they ordered three espressos. At that moment, Rummenigge and Hoeness -- the chairman and club president of powerhouse football team FC Bayern Munich, respectively -- had no idea what Guardiola wanted. But of course they were interested in talking to him.
Pep Guardiola had traveled to Munich with his team, FC Barcelona, for a sponsor's tournament, the Audi Cup. His team had just won the semifinal against the Brazilian team Porto Alegre, and the second semifinal, pitting FC Bayern Munich against AC Milan, was about to begin.
He liked FC Bayern, the Spanish coach said. He had toured the club grounds on Säbener Strasse that morning, and now the Allianz Arena. "You have an interesting philosophy," he said. Then he said something that Rummenigge and Hoeness hadn't expected: "I could imagine coaching here some day."
"He was making a clear statement," says Rummenigge. Guardiola was approaching the Bavarians, and not the other way around. When Rummenigge talks about it at the club's headquarters today, he still seems flabbergasted. He shakes his head. "I don't know if I would have dared to ask him at the time: 'Could you ever imagine coaching for Bayern Munich?'"