Guardiola: I didn't teach Xavi or Iniesta how to play

The Bayern Munich boss claims top-class players can play well irrespective of coaches and insists his success at his former and current clubs is down to collective efforts

Pep Guardiola has claimed he had little to do with turning Barcelona stars Xavi and Andres Iniesta into world-leading players.

The Spain midfield duo flourished under Guardiola’s stewardship at Camp Nou as the Blaugrana claimed 14 trophies from 2008 to 2011, including two Champions League titles.

Xavi and Iniesta were also at the heart of Spain’s incredible back-to-back European Championship successes, as well as their triumph at the 2010 World Cup, but Guardiola claims players of such calibre do not require coaches to get them to play at their best.

“Barcelona’s players motivate themselves,” the Bayern Munich boss was quoted as saying by Sport.

“I did not teach Xavi or Iniesta to play. Coaches are here to lend a hand, but they have been playing well for 20 years. Coaches do not make good players play well. They play well enough without me.

“I imbue a certain success, but it’s a personal matter. With me, they did not have the same success as they did with Tito Vilanova [when Barcelona reached 100 Liga points].”

Guardiola – whose Bayern side were crowned Bundesliga champions in record time following Tuesday’s win over Hertha Berlin – went on to underline that he left Camp Nou in 2012 as he felt the time was right to move on.

“Perhaps I didn’t explain it well,” he added. “[My reason for leaving Barca] was purely personal. I felt the time had come. They are all responsible for the success we had, as is the same at Bayern.”

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