Johan Cruyff’s autobiography My Turn was released this week just under 7 months after the footballing legends death, and the Dutchman has revealed how he fought the Barcelona hierarchy in order to keep Pep Guardiola at the club.
Cruyff was a fan of the then Barcelona player and explains how the club wanted to move the Spanish midfielder on: “as a player at Barcelona, they wanted to get rid of Pep because they thought he was a lanky great beanpole who couldn’t defend, who had no strength and couldn’t do anything in the air, so he was blamed for all the things he wasn’t good at, while I thought they were all things he could learn to do well.
“What all those people didn’t see was that Guardiola had the fundamental qualities needed at the top level: speed of action, technique, insight. Those are phenomena that very few people exhibit, but in his case they were present in spades.
“As well as his footballing qualities, Guardiola has a very strong personality and in intelligent mind. You can talk to him about any subject under the sun.”