Former Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez has named Pep Guardiola as the ‘best of his generation’. Martinez was speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport via Football Italia after being asked to compare the current Manchester City boss with Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti. The 33-year-old was managed by both men during his time at the Allianz Arena.
Under Guardiola he won the Bundesliga, German Cup, UEFA Supercup and the FIFA Club World Cup while Ancelotti won the Bundesliga and the German Supercup during his tenure in Bavaria. In the eyes of the ex-Spain international both managers are frontrunners.
“To me, they are the best representatives of their generations,” he explained. “Of all Ancelotti’s colleagues, no one is left in business now.
“Pep is the best coach of this generation, including Luis Enrique, Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino and [Jurgen] Klopp. People who have changed football. They are all very different from Ancelotti.” Martinez then went on to discuss Guardiola’s strengths as a coach.
He added: “Guardiola has a unique way of analyzing football. He can foresee what happens on the pitch. You play knowing what you have to do and what the opposing team will do. It’s a huge advantage.
“Add his tactics and pressing schemes and Pep becomes almost unbeatable. I had a close bond with him because we speak the same language, but the rapport with Carlo was different.
“He is like a father, he cares so much about his players. Pep is more rigid and more focused on video analysis, but a team needs discipline.
“Pep had more control than Carlo, nothing huge, but it was noticeable.” He continued: “The fact that Carlo is still there, fighting for a big target, elevates him to the Olympus of the history of football, it says a lot about how great he is and how well he works.
“He is a smart coach, he perfectly knows football. He returned to Madrid, giving a new life to a team that had lost Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane after [Cristiano] Ronaldo.
“People were skeptical, but he is close to winning La Liga and has reached the Champions League semis. Carlo knows what teams need.
“When I am asked who is the best coach in the world, I always say Guardiola, but for a player, it’s important to work with coaches who know how to get the best out of you and I’ve never felt as good as under Carlo. Not only in footballing terms but also personally.
“I believe he is the best of all.” Guardiola and Ancelotti will clash once again on Wednesday when City travel to Real Madrid for the second leg of their Champions League tie.
The Blues currently hold a 4-3 advantage in the tie. Both teams will be riding the crest of a wave after two thumping victories at the weekend with Real’s seeing them clinch the La Liga title.
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