Where are they now? Pep Guardiola’s 15 signings as Bayern Munich manager

Pep Guardiola’s spell in charge of Bayern Munich is rarely discussed among football fans. His reign in Bavaria lasted as long as his time at Barcelona and it was a period during which he tested many of the ideas we see him using at Manchester City today.

Philipp Lahm was pushed into midfield, and Pep began to tinker with double pivots and inverted wingbacks. The Bundesliga is where the Catalan first met Jurgen Klopp, and the two pushed each other to be better, each continually evolving to try and beat the other.

Another reason Pep’s Bayern were so formidable was because they simply had a lot of exceptionally talented footballers. The Bavarians made 15 signings during Pep’s tenure—most of them incredible, some of them a bit weird.

Here’s where those guys are now, and what became of them once Pep was gone.

Mario Gotze

Gotze’s life probably peaked when he won the World Cup for Germany in extra time, back in 2014. That’s about as good as it gets, really. Not beating that.

The playmaker stagnated a little at Bayern, and it turned out that he was suffering from myopathy, preventing his muscles from working properly. That’s no good if you’re a footballer.

Discovering what was malfunctioning in his body helped Gotze to get his career back on track and, after returning to Dortmund, he enjoyed a rejuvenating spell in Eindhoven with PSV before returning to the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Jan Kirchoff

A man absolutely riddled with injuries, Kirchoff joined Bayern as a free agent and left after making only 11 appearances, mainly as a sub.

The German’s career continued on a downward trajectory, like a marble in a game of Kerplunk, bouncing from Sunderland to Bolton, and ending up in the German third tier with KFC Uerdingen 05 (shoutout to the colonel).

Kirchoff eventually retired at 30 years old.

Thiago Alcantara

One of the most technically gifted footballers of his generation, Pep knew Thiago from his time at Barcelona.

An incredibly successful spell in Bavaria was followed by a move to Liverpool, where he’s spent much of his time at Anfield sidelined with injuries.

Sebastian Rode

After a couple of years at Bayern and a nightmare spell in Dortmund, Rode found a home at Eintracht Franktfurt, where he’s club captain with over 200 appearances for the club and a Europa League title to his name.

Good for him, we say.

Robert Lewandowski

If you’ve just spent 30 seconds of your life reading about Sebastian Rode and Jan Kirchoff, but you didn’t know that Lewandowski is now doing Lewandowski things at Barcelona… well, what an interesting person you are.

Truly one of the most prolific and talented strikers of all time. Those TikTok dances, though… Blimey.

Trainer Thomas Tuchel (FCB), team manager, headcoach, coach, celebrates 0-1 goal, happy, laugh, celebration, in the match SC FREIBURG - FC BAYERN MUENCHEN 0-1 1.German Football League on Apr 8, 2023 in Freiburg, Germany.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every Bayern Munich manager since 2000? 

Juan Bernat

The Spaniard moved on to the big scary PSG project after four years in Bavaria. He’s not on loan at Benfica, filling the Alex Grimaldo-shaped hole at left-back.

At 31, he’s unlikely to get back in the PSG team, so we’d be making that move permanent if we were him. Lovely city, Lisbon.

Pepe Reina

Unbelievably, Reina is still playing football in the 2024th year of the Georgian calendar. Can’t remember a time he wasn’t playing football. Feels like he could’ve been signed for Liverpool by Bob Paisley or Bill Shankly.

The goalkeeper is now at Villareal having arrived back in Spain via Napoli, Milan, Aston Villa, and Lazio.

Some fairly mad sh*t went down during his time in Italy but perhaps nothing weirder than when he was unmasked as a giant penguin on the Spanish version of The Masked Singer.

READ NEXT: Where are they now? Niko Kovac’s 8 signings as Bayern Munich manager

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Bayern Munich’s XI from the 2013 Champions League final?

Medhi Benatia

Did you know Benatia is now the Sporting Director of Marseille? That had completely passed us by. Sort of half-assumed he was still playing for like Juve Reserves or something.

Five years younger than Pepe Reina and already a Sporting Director. Fair play.

Xabi Alonso

Bayer Leverkusen have a gem on their hands. The creator of the most iconic retirement announcement photo of all time, Copa Mundials in hand, looks like winning Leverkusen their first league title without losing a single match.

After announcing that he’s staying for at least one more season, the Bundesliga club must be getting the marble ready to sculp the man a statue outside the stadium.

Sven Ulreich

The backup goalie did briefly leave Bavaria for Hamburg. He was there for one season in 2020, but his contract was terminated early, so he went running back to Bayern, where he resides to this day.

There’s a solid chance they put one of those little plaque on their subs bench with his name engraved on it, like the ones you see in the park, dedicated to dead husbands and wives.

‘In memory of the Bayern Munich career of Sven Ulreich. He loved to watch the games from this spot.’

Sinan Kurt

Nope, us neither. Kurt made one singular appearance for Bayern, in 1-0 victory over Hertha Berlin. Hertha must’ve been impressed because they bought him. They then demoted him to Hertha II, and he’s now turning out in the Turkish second division for Karaman FK.

Bayern's Harry Kane celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayern Munich and Heidenheim at the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player Bayern Munich have signed from the Premier League?


Joshua Kimmich

Kimmich was Pep’s Bayern protege, and he’s still there. One of the most talented midfielders of his generation, was loved by Pep for his technical ability, intelligence, physical frame and tactical versatility.

We can’t really imagine him in any other shirt.

Arturo Vidal

One of the scariest-looking blokes in world football has had some journey. After signing for Barcelona, Inter, Flamengo, and Atletico Paranaense, the Chilean midfield boogieman made a triumphant return to childhood club Colo-Colo.

And when he made that triumphant return, he made it in f*cking helicopter, then rode a horse around the stadium dressed as a medieval knight with a big f*ck off sword.

Kingsley Coman

The absolutely rapid winger is only 27, somehow, and is about to complete the first season in his entire 11-year career without winning a league title. That is completely insane. The man literally doesn’t know how it feels not to win a major European league title.

Last-minute contract termination and a quick free agent move to Leverkusen on the cards…?

Serdar Tasci

We’re going to be honest with you — we had completely forgotten this man existed.

The centre-back was on loan at Bayern from from Spartak Moscow during Pep’s Bayern reign. He’s retired now, but the internet reliably informs us that Tasci won the Bundesliga with Stuttgart 2006-07, and that he played at the 2010 World Cup for Germany(???).

We’re struggling to believe that. Think we might be living in a simulation.