On Guardiola the Barcelona player …
I was 11 when I joined, so it was the golden age of the ‘Dream Team’. I arrived in ’91 and that Barcelona team had already won a league and been given the name ‘Dream Team’. The philosophy was to deal with all opponents the same way. You had a number on your back. If that number was four, you were Guardiola. So my point of reference was Guardiola.
He was a player without much physique: long and thin; he couldn’t defend. But he had vision, and that’s one of the most important things. He instantly understood [me] as he had a very good football mentality.
On Guardiola the coach …
I am most proud of how many players that I coached became coaches themselves, the sort of football they play, and how they approach football. It’s for the love of the game, helping someone, helping someone improve. The biggest example is Guardiola, of course, who has expressed himself in an extremely good way.
He’s always been faithful to his way of thinking, always with respect for the people working with him and around him. He’s never stubborn. In his mind he’s always been a player, so even though he’s boss he still feels part of the group.
Every training session with Pep was a lesson. He knows so much about football, and from day one on we learned more and more about this sport. We experienced four incredible years with him, and I think it was the best four years of the club because we won so many trophies. He has to be thanked for everything he has done for this club.
Sometimes there are risks to be taken and you have to be daring. Pep Guardiola dared to impose his style of play and defied the difficulties he faced. The difficulty lay in teaching people to keep the ball longer than ever before. That’s what caused a huge change in football and has inspired many teams to try to play like Barça since.