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Xavi: Pep Guardiola is the most influential person in football over the last decade

Though only 45-years-old, Pep Guardiola has already left an influence on football coaching that will outlive the man himself. The Manchester City boss has revolutionised tactics and the way coaches see the sport, but as a master of his craft, is always wanting to learn more.

Two of his former pupils have been speaking about Pep at the ASPIRE4SPORT Congress & Exhibition at the Amsterdam Arena. Xavi and Carles Puyol spoke of Barcelona’s La Masia and the influence of Guardiola’s mentor, Johan Cruyff, on the development of Barcelona’s footballing style.

The topic of conversation then turned to Pep Guardiola and the two could not speak highly enough of him. Xavi said:

“Pep improved us all – he teaches you the why of things and conveys much. Furthermore, his understanding of the game is why he has been the most influential person in football over the last 10 years.

“If anyone can change the dynamics of English football, it is Guardiola. He is influential, obsessive, a perfectionist. At City, they will learn a lot from him and already, within a few months, we’re beginning to see a style.”

Puyol, who captained Guardiola’s famous Barcelona team, said similar.

“Pep is very perfectionist, demanding, always wants to learn, and so has revolutionized modern football.”

This is music to the ears of Manchester City fans, who have already seen the impact of Pep within just a few months. In the words of Guardiola, he needs time to fully implement his philosophy and also perfectly shape his squad, meaning years 2 and 3 (and beyond?) of his tenure should see a more streamlined and dangerous Manchester City.

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