Late Dutch legend Johan Cruyff was a father figure for current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and the late great continues to be an incredible influence for the City coach. Cruyff had taken his Total Football ideals to a new level and now Guardiola is doing the same in this era.
The Catalan took his former coach’s Total Football ideas to new heights during his four-year stay at FC Barcelona and he spoke of Cruyff’s influence during an interview with Jorge Valdano on Movistar.
“He had this presence, with his Ray Ban glasses,” Pep said.
“I always thought that many of the things he said he didn't believe, but he made you think that things were that way. He didn't have preparation methods and he trusted others to decide how to train, but he did have a playing method."
Cruyff had strong beliefs and ideas. His understanding of the game and the philosophy of his playing style was unique. Guardiola pointed out that Cruyff used to improve on his playing style and always worked on how the team can implement it better. Cruyff stood by his ideas and Guardiola fell in love.
“He didn't move onto plan B, as he instead made plan A stronger. Everything was new.
“Since he was always in good shape, he didn't explain things to you as he just showed you.
“Cruyff didn't convince me, he made me fall in love.”
Guardiola reminisced how Cruyff always believed that his Barcelona players were the best. For two consecutive seasons (1992 and 1993), Jorge Valdano’s (who was conducting the Movistar interview) Tenerife side had beaten Real Madrid on the last match day to hand the title to Barcelona.
"Cruyff always told us that we were better and before the Tenerife game he told us he was sure Real Madrid would lose," the Catalan said.