Men's Team

Guardiola: Cruyff would have told me to stay at City

Guardiola: Cruyff would have told me to stay at City
Pep Guardiola believes Johan Cruyff would have supported his decision to remain at Manchester City beyond the end of the current season.

Our manager has today signed a new deal keeping him at the Etihad Stadium until 2025, and he believes that his mentor would have encouraged the move.

Cruyff was widely regarded as one of the most progressive thinkers in football as both a player and a manager and grew to be an iconic figure in the sport.

The Dutch international played for Barcelona during Guardiola’s childhood and then managed the club as Guardiola became a key figure in the Blaugrana's midfield.

Guardiola feels that Cruyff, who died in 2016, would have been proud of the work he has done in Manchester so far.

And asked in an interview with the Club what his mentor's advice would have been ahead of signing a new contract, the boss was unequivocal.

He said: “I think he would say extend two more years the contract! I am pretty sure Johan Cruyff would say that.

“From above he is happy right now. Always I have the feeling of how sad about the fact he cannot be here to enjoy it with all of us. We are his sons, Txiki and myself.

“We talk about how nice it would be if he was here, but something he taught us or drove us with always is there.”

Guardiola’s footballing philosophy was inspired by his relationship with Cruyff.

With the 51-year-old now acknowledged as a legendary figure in his own right, he is influencing the players and coaches he comes into contact with.

He has worked with several high-profile assistants during his time in Manchester, including current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, Galatasaray boss Domenec Torrent and Al Sadd SC coach Juanma Lillo.

Now, he is joined by Rodolfo Borrell, Carlos Vicens and Enzo Maresca on the front bench with excellent technical support from Head of Goalkeeping Xabier Mancisidor, Fitness Coach Lorenzo Buenaventura and Performance Analysis Coach Carles Planchart amongst others.

After praising his backroom staff, the manager revealed his high demands of his colleagues at the City Football Academy.

“First of all, the quality that they have as human beings, first and foremost otherwise they would not be here,” he said.

“But you have to cultivate, you have to grow, we have to still do what we have to do to continue to be better. Also, for the backroom staff, the message I’ve done is the same.

“It’s not that what we have done is enough. They have to improve themselves, show they want to be here that they want to help us, the club improve altogether. They know I’m just a part of that.”

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