The Champions League would be the icing on the cake. But Pep Guardiola doesn’t need a win against Chelsea on May 29 to be number one among football coaches again. A comment.
Manchester City are English champions. Also thanks to countless millions from Abu-Dhabi. But primarily thanks to Pep Guardiola. The football that he lets the Citizens play is not only successful, but also beautiful. Because: varied, determined – and accurate even without a classic center forward.
Guardiola’s team has 72 goals in their account three Premier League game days before the end. 72 goals scored by 16 different players. Proof of how well this city works as a unit – and that Guardiola, as between 2013 and 2016 at FC Bayern, does not need an epoch-making miracle player like Lionel Messi that outshines everything in order for his plan to work.
You don’t have to consider someone who has been promoting the controversial World Cup in Qatar for years as an ambassador for years to be the most likeable coach in the world. Technically, there is currently no better coach than Guardiola. Not the more rousing Jürgen Klopp. Not the more pragmatic Hansi Flick. Not yet the similarly detail obsessed Thomas Tuchel.
A defeat in the Champions League final against FC Chelsea, coached by Tuchel, on May 29 would not change that. The last Guardiola critics, they would certainly be silenced by a victory over the Blues. Those who described him as too cerebral and perfectionist in the past few years, as missed penalties, missed great opportunities, but also too well thought-out tactical concepts, were his undoing. Those who spoke of the end of an era at the latest after the quarter-finals last year against Olympique Lyon.