Guardiola has improved other teams – Mascherano

The midfielder believes the impact of his former coach has been far reaching, with other managers attempting to replicate his passing philosophy


Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano says Pep Guardiola “improved a lot of teams in a lot of leagues” with the tiki-taka style he implemented while in charge at Camp Nou.

The Spaniard pioneered his passing philosophy, focused on fast, short passes and pressing the opposition high up the pitch in a striker-less formation, during four success-laden years in the Barca dug-out.

That model has since been replicated by a number of sides across the globe, while Guardiola himself has sought to transplant that style into his Bayern Munich side in the Bundesliga.

As a result Mascherano believes the 43-year-old has unintentionally helped a number of teams become better and raised the quality of football across Europe.

Guardiola was a perfectionist,” he said to Fox Sports. “He took us the closest to excellence and perfection. The best teams have a style, a philosophy of playing.

“Barcelona showed you can win everything while playing beautiful football at a time when it was believed that you could not win in style.

“Without wanting to disrespect other teams and coaches, Guardiola created a winning style that a lot of teams then copied. Barcelona did not only improve themselves, but improved a lot of teams in a lot of leagues.” 

Guardiola departed Barcelona in 2012 and embarked upon a year-long sabbatical before returning to management with Bayern, replacing Jupp Heynckes in the Allianz Arena hotseat in 2013.

He lifted the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal in his first season in charge but suffered a humiliating 5-0 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid over two legs in the Champions League semi-finals last term.

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