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Everton manager Ronald Koeman talks Pep Guardiola friendship, Manchester City style

The two played together at Barcelona, and now face each other as coaches

Everton v Stoke City - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

One of the best things about Saturday's Premier League match between Manchester City and Everton is the coaching duel. Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman are among the top managers Europe, and the two share very similar football philosophies based on possession, speed, high pressure and constant attack.

The reason why Guardiola and Koeman think football the same way is because they played together at Barcelona's Dream Team, one of the great sides in the history of the sport, that was coached by Johan Cruyff and won the club's first Champions League title with a very offensive, attractive brand of football.

Guardiola then became one of the greatest coaches ever by taking Cruyff's ideas and developing a spectacular style that won nearly everything at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He hopes to do the same in England, and we have already seen a few glimpses of that style during City's phenomenal start to the season.

Koeman and Guardiola are very close friends, and they'll face each other as coaches for the first time. The Dutchman could not stop praising his former teammate during his pre-match press conference, and Koeman says admires Pep for his "risky", yet winning style.


“I have all good memories of Pep. We have a really strong friendship. Now it’s a bit easier because he’s living in Manchester and I live close to Manchester. Sometimes we have time for dinner and to talk about football and to talk about life. We've spent many hours together talking football.

“He was really interested in how we play in Holland. I see a lot of that in teams managed by Pep, about Barcelona and Dutch football, and I like that because it’s the most difficult way to win – to play offensive football. Sometimes it’s a risky way to win titles. Most other managers win titles, but not with that football.

“When Pep was manager of Barcelona, I saw the best Barcelona team in every aspect of football. The standard there was - and always is – high, but he made it 200 per cent in every aspect.

“It's a different way of football. We like to see a team play attractive football, to dominate. Sometimes that’s risky what they try to do, but that’s football that I like.

“Of course, everything is about winning at the weekend, but his way is the most difficult way. When finally you do that and win titles – chapeau.”

Source: Mirror