Italy legend: ‘Perfectionist’ Pep Guardiola has taken Total Football to a new level

One of the most important coaches of the modern age, Arrigo Sacchi, says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is one of ten coaches since the mid-20th century to have contributed to the evolution of football.

Sacchi, who managed Italy and won the European Cup two years running with the famous AC Milan side of the late 80s to early 90s, was full of praise for Pep in an interview quoted by the Mirror.

“He has carried forward total football even more,” ­Sacchi said. “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.”

And Guardiola has a place in the history of football, 71-year-old Sacchi believes.

“Guardiola is 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.’”

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