Gary Neville has named Pep Guardiola as the coach who has ‘redefined football’ and believes the Manchester City manager has had an ‘influence’ on the transformation of rivals Liverpool.
49-year-old Guardiola is already considered one of the greatest managers of all-time following a glittering coaching career, winning eight domestic league titles and two Champions League trophies over spells at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City.
It is a four-year spell at the former that Guardiola is perhaps most synonymous with, his Barcelona side often regarded as the greatest club team of all-time after winning 14 honours during his reign.
Neville agrees with that sentiment and believes Guardiola’s sides have left a lasting impression on football, admitting perceptions have changed following the success of the Spaniard’s signature style.
“The game’s changed completely in terms of perception. I have to say Pep Guardiola, everyone described it as the greatest team of all-time and I think rightly so, with [Gerard] Pique, [Carles] Puyol, Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Sergio] Busquets, [Lionel] Messi. That team I think redefined football,” Neville said as per the Mirror.
“You rarely see new things in football but the way in which they pressed when they lost the ball, the possession, the skill, everything was just out of this world over a three or four year period. No one could get near them.
“And I think it’s just transformed everyone’s mind to how they see football and even clubs that don’t maybe adopt the tactics of pure possession like Pep does.”
Guardiola’s City side have dominated the Premier League in recent seasons before being overhauled by Liverpool during the current campaign, and Neville believes the Merseyside side have had to incorporate aspects of their rival’s game to move ahead in the race for titles.
“Liverpool in the last few years, when Jurgen Klopp came to Liverpool I thought they were a brilliant team, but they pressed a lot, they were very frantic,” Neville continued.
“You look at the control in their game now, its adapted, they’re a more rounded team, so I think the influence of Pep Guardiola is enormous and obviously the coaches that he was inspired by are enormous on our game.”