THERE’SS NO ROOM FOR ROMANTICISM
Don’t ever confuse Pep Guardiola for a style-over-substance aesthete. Unsurprisingly for someone who has won 19 trophies in seven and a half seasons as a top-flight coach, he wants to win.
At the centre of everything, however, is the desire to win with style. Ultimately, Guardiola chose Bayern as his next club after Barcelona – where he wants to one day return, to head up La Masia – because he wanted to prove he could advance on the ‘perfection’ that former coach Jupp Heynckes had left. Before joining Bayern, he researched every Bundesliga club to understand how they counter-attacked, but all the hours spent studying videos, talking to his players and analysing every detail is pointless if he doesn’t win. Thiago agrees. “It’s a great mix: you know how he wants you to play and how to combine that with your own qualities. That’s how good results follow. The players will end up drained by Pep. He’s so intense, he’ll exhaust us.”