Martinez hails Guardiola signing

Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez was delighted to hear of the news that Pep Guardiola would take over as the new coach next season.

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The defensive midfielder joined Bayern last year over the summer and appears to have settled in well at the club, having become a first-team regular under current coach Jupp Heynckes. 

But Martinez, a former Athletic Bilbao player, can't wait to work under his compatriot as he saw first-hand how Guardiola revolutionised Barcelona with his methods and tactics in a hugely successful four-year spell. Furthermore, the 24-year-old hopes that Guardiola's appointment could see even more Spanish faces ply their trade in the Bundesliga.

Bayern, who restarted their league campaign with a 2-0 win against Greuther Furth on Saturday, currently only have Martinez from the Spain national squad but speculation is rife that Guardiola could seek to bring the likes of Pedro Rodriguez and Thiago to the club next year.

"Guardiola is an excellent coach. I know him a little from when Bilbao played Barcelona. I rate him highly as a coach and a person," Martinez told Bild.

"This is the best solution after Heynckes said he wanted to end his career this season. It's great for Bayern and great for the whole Bundesliga.

"Now maybe more top players and coaches may come from Spain to Munich and Germany."

Heynckes has only 16 games left in charge and he started off the new year with a win against Furth. The 67-year-old veteran explained that he was content with the win but also felt that Greuther's negative tactics prevented his side from playing to their best abilities.

"We're pleased we've won and kept another clean sheet," Heynckes told the club website.

"But my team knows we didn't play very well today. Our play was cramped and not as fluid as we're used to.

"The restart fixture is always tough. And Fürth played very clever football. They kept it tight at the back, closed down the space, and tried to hit us on the break."

Mario Mandzukic was the architect of Furth's downfall with two goals in the game that ensured the Bavarian giants remained nine points clear of Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the Bundesliga.

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