Pep Guardiola's best comparison in the NBA might be Erik Spoelstra. With a few of the best players in the world, none better than Lionel Messi, he led Barcelona to 14 titles in four seasons before stepping down at the end of last year.

It earned the 41-year-old Spaniard the right to coach anywhere he wants. Surprising to some, he picked German giant Bayern Munich.

The choice comes to the chagrin of Europe's biggest spenders, including AC Milan in Italy, Paris Saint-Germain in France and three teams in England. Both Chelsea and Manchester City have nearly limitless funds, and Manchester United needs a successor for 71-year-old Alex Ferguson.

Guardiola said Wednesday he wanted to coach in England someday, which excited the English press, who regard the Premier League as the only league worth watching.

But they will have to wait three years while Guardiola dips into the equally successful but less brash Bundesliga, where he will take over a club that has a first-place lead of nine points.

- Craig Stouffer