Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola has attributed his managerial success to the tutelage he received under the late Johan Cruyff at Barcelona. He disclosed this during the launch of the autobiography of the Dutch footballer who passed away on March 24th, 2016.
“Without him I wouldn’t be here. I know for sure this is why I am, right now, the manager of Manchester City and before that Bayern Munich and Barcelona. Before he came we didn’t have a cathedral of football, this beautiful church, at Barcelona. We needed something new. And now it is something that has lasted. It was built by one man, by Johan Cruyff, stone by stone. That’s why he was special.
“I would not be able to do what he did. You hear all these people saying, ‘Oh Pep, what a good manager he is.’ Forget about it. Cruyff was the best, by far. Creating something new is the difficult part. To make it and build it and get everyone to follow? Amazing.
“That’s why, when I was Barcelona manager, I went to see Johan many times. I made especially sure I went a lot in my first year when we won everything, absolutely everything.”
The Spaniard admitted he knew nothing about football until he met the legend.
“He was the most influential person in football history. He changed not one club. He changed two clubs – as a player and a coach. It’s impossible to find another guy like this. OK, he did it at Ajax and they won the European Cup when Michels was there – but the player was Johan.
After that he was a coach there and then he came to Barcelona. It was a big club but it didn’t have a specific football culture. We had one Argentina coach who played an Argentinian style, then came a German coach who played a German style. But then Johan arrived and he said: ‘Guys, now we play this way.’