Real Madrid defender David Alaba has heaped praises on Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
David Alaba played under Pep Guardiola from 2014 to 2017 when the Guardiola was the coach for Bayern Munich.
According to the Real Madrid defender, The Spanish coach lifted his game and made him more versatile.
What did Alaba say?
In an interview with The Athletic, he said: “I experienced football differently under him; he showed me a side of football I hadn’t seen before.
“Football as a game of space, as a game of networks and processes. Playing with the ball, without the ball.
“Little things that make a big difference: the way you dribble, the way to pass, positional play, closing down spaces.
“When the ball’s upfront and to the right, where’s the best position for you at the back on the left? These types of things.
“I saw so many new things during those years with him, even though I’d seen a few things before already.”
Pep Guardiola predicted in 2013 that David Alaba will be one of the best players in the World. Guardiola said: “He’s an unbelievable talent.
“He can play anywhere. He’s quick, is good in the build-up, and is always 100 percent focused. Without a doubt, he can be one of the best center-backs in the world. He’s a huge gift for Bayern.”
Alaba added: “I was always quite flexible as a player but Pep lifted me to the next level.
“Thanks to him, I developed the ability to play different positions during the same match. Sometimes, I played three different positions in the same match.”
David Alaba also seems surprised at the type of football played in Spain as every team likes to play from the back.
He continued: “There’s more emphasis on playing out from the back here,” he says. “I wasn’t surprised as such, but it brought home the fact that the game is different here. It’s not just the first six teams on the table. Everyone, down to the sides at the bottom, is trying to play out from the back, irrespective of the score. It’s very technical here, very cultured. In Germany, it’s a bit more vertical, and there’s a different intensity off the ball.
“Bayern always played out from the back, spent more time in the opposition half than their own, so there are similarities but defensively, it’s a little different because opponents are less likely to go long early.”
Alba also stressed the influence Carlo Ancelotti has had on the team from winning the La Liga to the finals Of the Champions League.
Alaba said: “He’s played a huge role in us making it to the Champions League final and winning La Liga,
“It’s no coincidence he’s the only manager who’s won the championship in the top five leagues. He’s got huge experience. He knows how success works. He’s seen it all. And there’s also a very human side to him. He’s a father figure for us. A friend. He’s very approachable. He knows how to handle players.
“One of his big strengths is dealing with egos — he’s shown that many times. He creates a very good atmosphere inside the dressing room. That’s important, especially at a club like this.”
“A club like this?
“I felt it from the very first day I got here, there’s a certain aura and atmosphere that this club exudes. You feel it the moment you set foot onto the training ground: the values that this club holds dearly, and what it means to be playing for Real Madrid. It’s a huge thing, it’s unique, and incredible.
“The history made by this club over the last few years, as well as decades ago, is very special, and you feel that here, in Spain, and all over the world very strongly.”