Pep Guardiola may be one of the top coaches in the world, leading one of the top teams in the world, but he knows from his time in Mexico that he shouldn’t expect any favors when he leads Bayern Munich out against Chivas de Guadalajara in the first of two games on the German champions’ US tour on July 31 at Red Bull Arena.
Guardiola, whose team will also face the MLS All-Stars on August 6 in Portland, spent part of a season at Mexico’s Dorados de Sinaloa while at coaching school. The 2006 stint was his final stop as a player before he took over Barcelona’s B team the following year.
“I played there. I know Chivas very well because I played them two or three times when I was training Barcelona,” he told reporters. “We have to play well because the Mexican teams are very good with the ball; they are so dynamic because they are small guys but also quick and fast players, so we have to be prepared as well as possible because they play well and their national team did well in Brazil.”
“It is a good test for us and I am pretty happy because they play with three defenders but I don’t know how Chivas is going to play, but I imagine that they play well and we are going to play the best as possible.”
Chivas could field recently signed Carlos Salcido, the veteran defender who represented Mexico in Brazil, and have a number of other occasional Mexican national team players on the roster.
But they aren’t the only focus for Guardiola and Bayern, with the coach hoping the trip can also be a learning experience for his squad.
“The reason why all the big teams around the world are travelling in this period is to get to know our culture and our football in other places. I think the development of football in the United States every year is better,” Guardiola said. “Obviously, Jurgen Klinsmann is training the national team, so I think it’s important for us to get to show our football, our mentality and how we are as a club in New York, one of the best cities in the world.
“We have to prepare as best as possible to give our best image in this country.”