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Lahm: "Creativity is the most importante thing for Guardiola"

The ex-Bayern Munich captain added, "At Barcelona, Guardiola had four or five top players. He doesn't have that at Manchester City".

Lahm: "Creativity is the most importante thing for Guardiola"

Phillip Lahm has expressed his admiration for Pep Guardiola and the kind of football his teams play. In his column for The Guardian the former Bayern Munich captain recalled his own experiences of working under the Catalan coach: "Guardiola teams can be recognised immediately, even if the TV pictures were black and white shots: running free, the sequence of the passes, the positioning in the box, the dribbling, the way his team carries the ball forward together and push the play entirely into the other half. It’s not something a coach can simply achieve by issuing orders in the locker room. You have to work hard to achieve such superiority every day," he wrote.

As for the importance of having players with quality, he explained: " He even invents a position for absolutely exceptional players. So he let Lionel Messi, who grew into a kind of wonder of the world under him, reinterpret the centre-forward position. He just knows that big matches are decided by big players. Creativity is more important than a scheme. His football is a celebration of individuality".

Guardiola and the Champions League

Guardiola has been unable to win the Champions League with the two clubs he coached after leaving Barcelona - Bayern Munich and Manchester City. Lahm explained why: "To win the Champions League, however, you need luck in the draw and in the knockout games. From the last 16, the 10 big clubs in Europe are usually there. If not all top players are fit in April and May, it can be difficult. Highly talented players are also very important. At Barcelona, Guardiola had four or five who would make a world XI. At Manchester City he doesn’t have that, despite big investments. As Guardiola once stated, wunderkinds such as Kylian Mbappé and Neymar still prefer metropolises such as London and Paris or clubs with a glorious history. Measured as a squad, City would not be the favourites. Especially since Sergio Agüero, his player with the special talent, is not at full strength any more because of injuries.".

To end, Lahm gave his thoughts on the current City squad: "City now play a more defensive style, relying on athletic defenders with a presence in the air. The team sometimes give the ball, withdraw, defend in the penalty area, breathe, wait for the counterattack. He isn’t just adept at the ultra-attacking tiki taka. Rather, Guardiola develops his players’ abilities on both sides of the ball – he thinks offensively and defensively for each of his players. Under his direction, City’s defenders organise the defensive more precisely. Even Jérôme Boateng has said Guardiola taught him pivotal lessons. We players at Bayern benefited from Guardiola individually, but also as a collective.".