Franz Beckenbauer has clarified comments made on German television, in which he appeared to slam Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola’s tactics.
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Bayern’s honorary president was a guest during Sky’s coverage of their Champions League last-16 second leg game against Arsenal on Tuesday.
Following Bayern’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal, and another display of Bayern’s dominant possession play and passing game, especially in the first half of the fixture, Beckenbauer appeared to criticise Guardiola’s tactics.
“If that’s the philosophy then we’ll have a lot of fun in the future,” Beckenbauer said on Sky. “Then they’ll become like Barcelona, who are unwatchable because they pass the ball backwards when on the goal line.”
Beckenbauer’s statement was picked up by numerous media outlets, and interpreted as criticism of Guardiola, who successfully reinvented Barcelona during his time in charge at the Camp Nou from 2008 to 2012.
But speaking to German tabloid Bild on Wednesday, Beckenbauer clarified his comments. The Bayern legend explained that indeed his criticism was solely directed at Barcelona.
“The criticism was first of all against Barcelona’s style of play, back and forth just like in the Circus Sarrasani,” Beckenbauer said, referencing the German circus that reached world fame before the Second World War.
“We on the other hand have found a good mixture of passing and looking for the shot at goal in the first half of the season,” Beckenbauer added.