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Boro's fate is all but sealed

Middlesbrough
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Philosopher: Pep has feminised football

German philosopher Wolfram Eilenberger has argued that incoming Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola is responsible for a feminisation of football.

• Horncastle: Dutch Masters may guide Pep

Eilenberger, writing in a column for Der Tagesspiegel, said the former Barcelona coach's approach to the game did away with 'manly' attributes like "physique, aggression, ego and rank" in favour of more 'feminine' traits like "communication, collectiveness and creativity".

Eilenberger, owner of a German Football Association coaching licence and an active member of the German literature national football team, said that the three leading figures at Barcelona - Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi - embodied this approach with their 'androgynous' looks.

He argued that Samuel Eto'o and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as physically imposing strikers, did not stand a chance under Guardiola, whom Ibrahimovic memorably nicknamed 'The Philosopher" after leaving the Camp Nou for AC Milan.

On Thursday, German tabloid Bild mocked the column, dismissing Eilenberger as "philostupider".

The news that Guardiola will arrive at Bayern this summer has prompted a phenomenal level of coverage in the German press, with the initial column and Bild's response illustrative of an issue that has drawn attention from all walks of life in the country.

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