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Barca offer support to jailed Catalan separatists


Johan Cruyff: Pep Guardiola clearly a superior coach to Jose Mourinho

Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has told Bild that Pep Guardiola is a better coach than Jose Mourinho, crediting the Bayern Munich boss as the key to Spain and Germany's World Cup triumphs.

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Guardiola and Mourinho have a longstanding rivalry that intensified during the latter's time at Real Madrid, which sparked a series of heated Clasico clashes.

The pair have won two Champions League titles apiece in addition to a vast array of other trophies, and are widely considered to be two of the leading coaches in world football, but Cruyff -- who coached Guardiola at the Camp Nou -- feels his former protege is superior.

"To me, it's clear. Yes," Cruyff told the German tabloid when asked whether Guardiola was the better coach. "Guardiola wants to make football better, to take his team to another level.

"Unlike Mourinho, he has also played in front of 100,000 fans. He makes the game the centre of attention; Mourinho only talks about his team, his qualities and his mentality."

The duo forged an intense rivalry in Spain as they battled for top honours with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The Dutchman handed Guardiola his Barcelona debut in 1990, and recalled the young midfielder's introduction to the team.

"He played in the third team back then, and physically he was nothing, but he knew how to help himself with the right movement," Cruyff said. "And this experience in turning disadvantages into advantages distinguishes him as a coach. To me, he's one of the best in the world.

"What is really outstanding about Guardiola is that he doesn't force his style of football onto his team. He analyses what is best for the team, utilises the special details and through that leads them to the greatest possible success.

"It's no coincidence that Spain won the 2010 World Cup with seven of Guardiola's players, and now Germany with six or seven of his players."

Cruyff also said that Barca are a bigger club than Bayern from a "worldwide perspective."

He added: "In South America they all follow the Spanish league, and Barca is much bigger than Bayern -- and it will stay that way."

Bayern legend Franz Beckenbauer, who joined Cruyff for the Bild interview, agreed with his assessment.

"Barca are leaders in the world, also in terms of their tradition," he said. "They had legendary teams in the 1930s and '40s. Bayern only started in 1965, when they were promoted to the Bundesliga."


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