Pep Guardiola has been hailed as revolutionary in football management by former Italy boss Arrigo Sacchi, a man who is known himself as a revolutionary boss.
71-year-old Sacchi, who managed Parma, AC Milan, Italy and Atletico Madrid before having a stint as director of football at Real Madrid, says that City boss Guardiola has carried football forward with his tactics and many are following suit.
“He has carried forward total football even more,” said the Italian. “He is adding to it, making it better. He is a great coach and Manchester City play in his way with a real style.”
“We’re friends. We’ve known each other for a long time. He came to see how I worked when I was at Real Madrid. He’s an obsessive, a perfectionist, he thinks deeply about football. He’s one of the top ten coaches since the 1950s who have contributed to the evolution of football.”
“He’s in the tradition of Ajax’s Rinus Michels and Cruyff. My football is a belief in total football. It comes from Ajax.”
“Guardiola once said to me, ‘I owe everything to you and Cruyff’. I said to him, ‘Without Rinus Michels, there would have been no Cruyff and no Guardiola today.’”
The Italian also revealed that he is a big fan of the Premier League, and says he thinks one of the 5 English sides in the competition could go all the way.
Speaking at the Aspire for Sport Congress at Stamford Bridge, Sacchi said: “I believe this season an English club can go a long way in the Champions League.”
“But it’s a very exacting league. Manchester City are now going at 100 mph but it’s difficult to maintain this rhythm, this pace, until May. Manchester United are dangerous. And Liverpool.”
“The Premier League is full of great coaches: Mourinho, Guardiola, Klopp, Pochettino, Antonio Conte — what he did last season was remarkable. From 10th place [Chelsea’s finish the previous year] to win the title. Incredible.”
[Quotes sourced via Mirror]