Quotes on: Pep Guardiola

Guardiola as a player

“He saw what nobody else saw, he anticipated everything that was going to happen.”
– Carlos Naval
(long-serving Barcelona official)

“What caught my attention was that even though Pep was really small and skinny he played one-touch, or at most two-touch football which set him well above everyone in his age group.”
– Charly Rexach
(legendary scout at Barcelona, famous for helping bring Messi to Spain)

“The most gifted deep-lying playmaker I’ve ever seen, and most of Barcelona’s attacks came through him. He had this brilliant awareness of what was going on around him, rarely gave away the ball and had a superb range of passing. Without him, Barcelona weren’t the same team.”
– Ronald Koeman

“Pep was probably one of the best ever midfielders whose job was to break up attacks and just win the ball. He would sit in front of the defence and would be impossible to pass.”
– Gheorghe Hagi

“[ . . . ] unique. He saw the play faster than anyone but then used the ball in precisely the best way to take advantage of the situation.”
– Marc Overmars

“In this role (deep-lying playmaker), he has been a model. Or rather, the model: for his vision of the game, his calmness and his passing ability.”
– Andrea Pirlo

“œBoth as a man and a footballer, Pep is very intelligent. Tactically he’™s world-class.”
– Sir Bobby Robson

“œPep was born telling people what to do. I can imagine him telling the babies in his ward ‘˜you in that cot and you in this cot.'”
– Kiko
(former Atletico Madrid player)

“I wanted to take a longer look at him (Guardiola) and that’s why we offered him a six-month deal. He’s a fantastic professional who showed a great amount of ability.”
– Stuart Pearce (2005; then manager at Manchester City)

“Guardiola the player was an artist, a midfield master who used to give demonstrations in the art of passing.”
– Jamie Carragher


Guardiola as a manager

“Pep doesn’™t just give you orders, he also explains why. That makes you a better footballer because you learn the reasoning behind his instructions.”
– Gerard Pique

“If Pep told me to throw myself off the second tier at the Camp Nou, I’d think: ‘There must be something good down there.'”
– Dani Alves

“He gives you so many solutions for when you are then in the middle of a game, and nearly all of them turn out to be the right solutions when you apply them.”
Andres Iniesta

“He brought a lot to the history of the club and that will never be forgotten.”
– Andres Iniesta

“He doesn’t give himself a minute’s rest. He’s pig-headed, football is his everything and he puts so much intensity into everything. Pep’s almost got a sickness for football.”

“He is a perfectionist of course, but if you speak with the players they will all talk about the family atmosphere he creates at the clubs he is at, how he has the total trust from his players. That is what makes him special.”
– Xavi

“Intelligence is often expressed in how well you adapt to where you are, to your circumstances. And he is very, very intelligent. He would adapt to any football anywhere. He is a perfectionist, obsessive: he keeps going until he gets it right, no matter what he’s doing. If Pep Guardiola decided to be a musician, he would be a good musician. If he wanted to be a psychologist, he would be a good psychologist.”
– Xavi

“From the first moment Pep was brilliant to me. œHe told me what he’d demand from me but listened to my wish that I should play what might have been my only Olympics. I can only say that I owe him.”
Lionel Messi

“We had a great time when Pep was here (Barcelona). We won a lot of titles and I grew a lot – that was the time when I grew most as a footballer. We had a fantastic relationship when he was here.”
– Lionel Messi

“(A) Very sentimental man. [ . . . ] To motivate the team for the match, he can show a video about climbers conquering the summit and dying. Then he says: “And you have to conquer it.”
“He can bring to the base some children from an orphanage or children with disabilities. He always has tears at such moments. Guardiola is soulful, he is concerned with the players’ personal problems.
“I had a long period when I did not play, at the same time I didn’t lose for a moment the feeling that I am important for Barcelona because every day Pep came, talked to me, asked how I was doing. And he treated in the same way every player, even the youngest. So great an approach!
[ . . . ]
“The guys at Barcelona liked Pep very much. Players said that under Rijkaard and other coaches they had disputes over the time for going to the hotel, whether they needed to do it in advance or not. Someone loved to go to the club, to go out. When Pep came to Barca, he gave people freedom and so endeared himself that everyone began to appreciate it. At ten in the morning we arrived at the base, at eleven – we had a training. Hand on heart – over the year of my spell at Barca, in the morning I did not see a single person, who, say, was in a questionable state. So much everyone appreciated this freedom, so much they loved and respected Pep!”
– Dmytro Chygrynskiy

“For him, winning is a consequence of playing well with the ball on the ground, respecting his plan, staying in position and always keeping possession. He puts everything in place to get the ball up to the final third of the pitch and then trusts his team to finish the job in the only area of the field that can’t be planned for.”
Thierry Henry

“There is one thing you can be sure of — he wants to dominate. People associate his teams with the number of goals they score but his teams also don’t concede a lot. He always wants to be on the front foot, having the ball, possession, and he wants to dominate.”
– Thierry Henry

“He is a strict manager where he should be strict. He is not over-strict, but he tries to bring the right discipline for a player to be professional and to perform.”
– Thierry Henry

Pep Guardiola will join Manchester City from Bayern Munich ahead of the 2016/17 season

“Guardiola thinks about football and understands the machinations of the game at a level so deep that no one can follow.”
– Unnamed high-ranking Bayern Munich official

“He’s the world’s best in terms of analysing the opposition, game preparation and coming up with solutions.”
– Toni Kroos 

“Pep thinks about football 24 hours a day. He covers every angle to the smallest detail and he always demands 100 per cent in training and in games.”
– Robert Lewandowski

“Pep makes a player better. He’s helped me to understand football better. We work a lot on tactics, he’s taught me with 200 videos. He taught me a completely different role as a central defender than I was playing under Marcelo Bielsa [at Athletic Bilbao]. He dared to ask [Philipp] Lahm to play in the middle, he made [Jerome] Boateng the best central defender in Europe with the ball at his feet. He hates it when players get hurt, because, first of all, he appreciates you as a person. He makes you feel important. That’s crucial for us on a mental level.”
– Javi Martinez

“When we are in possession, tactically he is the best coach in the world for me. He works hard, watches a lot of games, and prepares us really well. Guardiola has the feeling for gaping spaces, and he already had that as a player. He’s a perfectionist.”
– Arjen Robben

“I have learned a lot from Pep. He’s a genius. I can learn more from him in an hour than from others in one year. He not only lifts you to the next level on the pitch, but also in your mind. He has revealed totally new options to me. I did not know that was possible when I got to Munich. He found a new position for me.”
– Douglas Costa

“What he has achieved, also for German football, is extraordinary and we’ve got to recognise that. [ . . . ] What he does with his hard work, his dedication and his positive craziness can be discussed, but it cannot ever be questioned.”
– Matthias Sammer

Pep never stops thinking. I will give you an example. We beat Dortmund 3-0  last month. We were on the plane, very happy as we’d beaten our biggest rival, but he sat at the front, opened his laptop and started preparing for the next match. He is obsessed with football.”
– Karl-Heinze Rummenigge (December 2013)

“Pep’s achievements speak volumes. More than anything, he gets clubs playing a brand of football they have never seen before.”
– Jamie Carragher

“He is more like a genius who reads the game and covers every situation imaginable. He is always showing us how to create space and find solutions and there is no manager like him, which makes him probably the best in the world.”
– Ilkay Gundogan

“He is a coach with a lot of experience and a great game philosophy. Therefore he always has a great influence on his team. All the players respect him. You only have to look at him and you want to learn from him. I’ve heard that he improves every player. He is a football icon.”
– Paul Pogba

“You shouldn’t make comparisons with me and Guardiola. He has achieved incredible things. Guardiola is a fantastic coach and what he is doing is very impressive.”
Zinedine Zidane

“Guardiola wants to make football better, to take his team to another level. [ . . . ] He played in the third team back then (when he was given his first-team debut at Barcelona in 1990), and physically he was nothing, but he knew how to help himself with the right movement. And this experience in turning disadvantages into advantages distinguishes him as a coach. To me, he’s one of the best in the world. What is really outstanding about Guardiola is that he doesn’t force his style of football onto his team. He analyses what is best for the team, utilises the special details and through that leads them to the greatest possible success. It’s no coincidence that Spain won the 2010 World Cup with seven of Guardiola’s players, and now Germany with six or seven of his players.”
Johan Cruyff

You invite him for a meal, hoping he will forget about football but 32 minutes later, you see his mind wander. He is nodding as if he is listening, in actual fact, he is probably thinking about the opposition left back.”
– Manuel Estiarte
(legendary Spanish water polo player and long-time staff member for Guardiola)
(from “Pep Confidential” by Marti Perarnau)

“Guardiola is the coach with the most imagination in football, he is a person who, for me, has great imagination because he manages his players’ enjoyment very well. Enjoyment is related to creativity. The creativity of putting [Arjen] Robben and Douglas Costa out wide one game, and further forward in the next, and having the players understand they are doing so for a reason. He changes wingers for forwards, he puts Lahm in midfield or centre-back, the players go out there and play. Guardiola has a clear concept that the players can understand and not see it as an obsession.”
– Jorge Sampaoli


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s