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Pep Guardiola hails mentor Johan Cruyff: "I coach Manchester City because of him"

Pep will admire his mentor forever

Stoke City v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

The reason why Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is one of the best coaches in football history is because of his mentor. Johan Cruyff, one of the biggest legends of the sport, was Pep's coach when Guardiola played at Barcelona, and Cruyff's incredible football ideas shaped Pep's style and helped him become who he is today.

Cruyff sadly passed away a few months ago from a battle with cancer, but he was still healthy enough to write his autobiography, which was launched this week worldwide. Guardiola went to the launch in London and spoke in an interview about Cruyff's influence in him, and Pep is clear: if it wasn't for Cruyff, Guardiola wouldn't exist.

"I was a lucky guy, I coached City, Bayern and Barca because I met him. I thought I knew about football but when I met him, a whole new world opened in front of me.

"He taught us - not only me, but a generation of players - to understand the game, to understand why you took that decision.

"Football is the most complicated game, it's very open and you have to take a lot of decisions. His impact on people was enormous.

"He wasn't sitting during training sessions, he was playing with us, but better than us. He would not tell us how to do things, he would do them. Every single training session was a masterclass.

"He had knowledge, charisma, personality. Everyone knows about football, everyone, but there's not many people that you will follow if he tells you to. You followed him.

"He was the most courageous manager I ever met. He believed in the 'efecto mariposa' (butterfly effect), that a good pass at the beginning could create a wonderful thing at the end."

Source: Sky Sports