Everton boss Ronald Koeman has lavished praise upon his Manchester City company Pep Guardiola ahead of the meeting between the two this weekend.
Koeman and Guardiola will not be meeting each for the first time. The duo share a friendship going back to the Barcelona days when Koeman was a first team regular while Guardiola was just starting to make a name for himself after having been promoted from the youth team.Koeman has revealed how then-manager Johan Cruyff made the Dutchman as the mentor and tutor for Guardiola. Koeman has now given many insights into how Guardiola seemed destined for greatness even from a young age.
Guardiola is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in the world, but he was a hugely successful player as well. Koeman has revealed how the Catalan captain never allowed success to get into his head, while he was always working hard to improve himself. Johan Cruyff was a major reason behind the inspiring Barcelona’s current style of play. The concept of total football appealed to Guardiola more than any other Barcelona player according toKoeman. It is not surprising that Guardiola has modelled game on this philosophy even when he is in charge of the team.
Koeman has also revealed how Guardiola used to drive the same second-hand car for almost three years even after getting into the first team.“Pep was a fantastic guy. He was eager to learn, he wanted to know everything.Pep wanted to know about the Dutch school of football. More than any other player he wanted to know about one-touch football, about positional play, one touch in small spaces. He loved the way Cruyff wanted to play with Barcelona. But what struck me with Pep was that he was a very ordinary, down-to-earth guy. He never had arrogant streaks,” said Koeman.