The German centre-back didn’t survive long in Bavaria but states the Catalan coach made a huge impression on him.
Former Bayern Munich defender Jan Kirchhoff says soccer is”almost easy” when you’ve Pep Guardiola as a trainer.
The centre-back combined the German giants in the summer of 2013, the same season Guardiola made the move to the Allianz Arena to mark his return to the match after an illustrious period responsible for Barcelona.
The coach advised the Bavarian outfit to three successive Bundesliga games and two DFB-Pokal crowns before leaving for Manchester City in 2016.
Kirchhoff made only nine league appearances in his first season because he had been loaned to Schalke the next January for 18 months.
While Kirchhoff wasn’t able to reclaim his place in Guardiola’s squad, he says the trainer had a significant influence on him as a participant.
“It was crazy because you thought: Before, I did not understand anything. The manner Pep simplifies the game and reveals how you stand to the ball or in the area is outstanding,” he informed Goal.
“There are dozens of small details that you may have known before, but after two weeks of training under him, so many things made more sense and were so much simpler for us players to execute.
“It makes an unbelievable difference when you’ve got a fantastic coach. It simplifies a great deal of things enormously, so playing soccer gets almost straightforward.
“In addition, the quality of the players and the amount of training were significant. I partially felt like I had been an Under-19 participant training with the first team .”
He added: “When I signed for Bayern, the previous half-year before wasn’t so simple, not in the club rather than in the group. I made plenty of mistakes back then. I had been very selfish and not an excellent teammate because in my mind it was only about me and what else was behind me.
“I had been over-ambitious, too impatient and obsessed with my objective of achieving specific things.
“I could not understand that it is great to come from Mainz to Munich as a 22-year-old and play with 12 matches in the first six months.
“Pep thought I should stay because I’d get my games near the end of the year and learn something in each training session, but I wanted to play every weekend and show how great I am.
“At the time I had been by far the best footballer I was ever in my career. At Schalke I had been knocked down by an opponent in the next training session and was hurt for quite a long time.
“It went quite honestly, possibly the time at Schalke could have been different then. But if I really could turn 1 thing back, then I must have stayed longer in Munich and revealed more humility.”
The German U-21 global left Bayern in 2016 to spend a year at Sunderland before he ended up at Bolton.
Along with the 29-year-old says that he was pleased to play in the Premier League with the Black Cats and still has fond memories of the time.
“England was the best experience I had in football,” he said. “It was really wonderful to come to a different country, perfect the language and get a new cultural input. I truly enjoyed it. I also have to mention that the occasionally significant expectations in Germany or the hunt for the renowned hair in the soup weighed me a bit. The English are more relaxed, cheerful and respect the athlete a whole lot more. I enjoyed the first half-year at AFC Sunderland very much, then the injuries came back.”