Bundesliga crown a silver lining for departing Pep

BERLIN • Pep Guardiola's time at Bayern Munich may be remembered for his failure to secure European success, but the Spaniard will still be guaranteed a warm send-off to Manchester City after leading the Bavarians to a record fourth straight Bundesliga title on Saturday.

Their 2-1 win at Ingolstadt wrapped up a 26th German crown for them. It was Guardiola's third straight title since he joined them in 2013 and he can still add to his haul of domestic silverware when Bayern face Dortmund in the German Cup final on May 21.

He would, however, have hoped to crown his third and final season with the treble, a dream dashed by Bayern's Champions League exit to Atletico Madrid last week.

The 45-year-old had succeeded Jupp Heynckes with a clear mandate of clinching the Champions League, which Bayern had won as part of a treble-winning 2012-13 season a month before his arrival.

"I have to accept it when people think that I have failed. You can't improve on the results that Jupp Heynckes managed. I know that my period here wasn't perfect," said Guardiola after the Atletico defeat.

  • 26

  • Number of Bundesliga titles Bayern Munich have won in their history, 17 more than the next most successful team, FC Nuernberg.

Bayern's Germany forward Thomas Mueller, though, said the team have "played brilliantly together" under Guardiola. "To have won four in a row is special," Mueller said. "It has never happened before, despite all the great teams who have played in the Bundesliga."

Guardiola, a self-confessed perfectionist, will leave for City at the end of the season as one of the most successful coaches in Bayern's history, with 81 wins from his 101 league games and only nine league defeats in three seasons.

The Spaniard, who led Barcelona to 14 trophies in four years, has turned the Bundesliga into a one-horse race during his three seasons in charge while also reaching three consecutive Champions League semi-finals.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2016, with the headline 'Bundesliga crown a silver lining for departing Pep'. Print Edition | Subscribe