BERLIN (Reuters) – Pep Guardiola had to be dissuaded from playing goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in midfield during his days as Bayern Munich coach, according to the club’s chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“I remember when Pep Guardiola, after winning a championship, seriously considered the idea of putting him in midfield for a match,” Rummenigge told the club magazine ’51’.

“I had trouble getting Pep Guardiola to give up on this idea, which some might have taken as being arrogant.”

Bayern were dominating the Bundesliga at the time, however Rummenigge agreed that Neuer’s ability with the ball meant that it was not such an eccentric idea.

“Manuel brought the footballer into goalkeeping and revolutionised this position,” said Rummenigge — although Colombia’s Rene Higuita claimed to have invented the sweeper-keeper role in the 1990s and Mexico’s Jorge Campos sometimes played as a striker for UNAM.

Manchester City boss Guardiola won the Bundesliga in each of his three seasons at Bayern although Champions League success eluded him.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)

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