It was an ultimate clash of two heavyweights when Manchester City took on Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich, in a pre-season friendly at the Lambeau Field stadium in Greenbay, Wisconsin.
The new number nine, Erling Haaland, finally netted his first goal, which proved enough for Pep Guardiola and company to seal a comprehensive victory against the German side. As expected, City dominated possession and posted 22 shots while Bayern languished with no shots on target and felt the crushing absence of Robert Lewandowski.
Pep was pleased with the performance of his side, but what made his evening was Joshua Kimmich.
The Spanish manager had a gig at Bayern from 2013 to 2016. For three seasons, Pep won all the major domestic trophies in Germany while employing his philosophy of possession-based football and turning the Bavarians into a mean goal-scoring machine.
In this process, Pep managed to completely reshape many players and turned them into world-class athletes. One of them was Kimmich, the 20-year-old kid who joined Bayern in 2015.
Pep saw the potential and went full throttle with his approach. He pushed Kimmich to achieve his versatility and developed him into an all-around midfielder who could play attacking and defensive roles as per the needs of the game. Kimmich believed in his manager and played his part to the core.
And the results were nothing short of astonishing. After Pep’s departure from Bayern, Kimmich became an indispensable part of the team and turned into a complete pressing machine in high-octane games, channelling his strength to tackle and win duels in the midfield.
This led to seven Bundesliga titles and sheer domination in the 2019/20 Champions League season that helped Bayern lift the European title for the sixth time.
All the memories of those sweat, blood, and tears came gushing back for both Pep and Kimmich when they came across each other at the full-time whistle at the end of the pre-season friendly.
Pep embraced him like a son and Kimmich couldn’t help but smile, remembering all that the Spaniard had done for him. The Spaniard held Kimmich’s face, imparting some words of wisdom or maybe remembering some sweet memory that the duo had shared on the training pitch at Bayern.
It was a heartfelt moment that any football fan would cherish. If we look closely, you could see the shadows of Sir Alex Ferguson embracing Cristiano Ronaldo after he won the Euro Cup back in 2016.