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Football Reporting


‘Details are really important’ – Fernando reveals Guardiola influence ahead of facing Barcelona in Copa del Rey

The midfielder was at Etihad Stadium in the Spanish manager’s debut season before moving on to Galatasaray, then to La Liga with Sevilla

Fernando has highlighted the influence Pep Guardiola had on his career, having come under the Catalan’s wing while at Manchester City. 

Now 33, Fernando earned a move to City in 2014 after shining in midfield for Porto. 

He went on to make more than 100 appearances for the Premier League side, before leaving for Galatasaray at the start of the 2017-18 season. 

Now at Sevilla, the enforcer still remembers his time with Pep fondly, despite having spent just one season under his wing at Etihad Stadium.

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“He is a coach that teaches you good things, in particular you have to be focused on training and not only on matches,” Fernando told Goal. “At training, you can get many good things from him if you pay attention and do it well. Details are really important for him.

“He is a well-prepared coach and he really understands how the game works”. 

Fernando is now hoping Lionel Messi wakes up on the wrong side of the bed when his side take on Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, while pointing out that stopping the Argentine wizard is a job for the entire team. 

Sevilla meet Barca in the semi-finals on Wednesday, having disposed of Leganes, Valencia and Almeria so far, but the Brazilian knows that Messi poses a special challenge. 

“How to stop Messi? It’s difficult, there isn’t one solution or a method to stop him. We have to do it with the help of our full team,” he said. “We all have to be focused when we have to defend and pay attention to Messi. It is difficult. We have to be lucky and hope that Messi has an off-day.” 

Despite having lost previous finals against Barcelona, Fernando insists he has no thoughts of revenge going into Wednesday’s first leg.

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“Barcelona have won many titles, they are known worldwide and are one the best in the world,” he said. “We want to beat them but it’s complicated. I have lost against Barcelona and now I hope to win this match, I have already beat them with Man City and I want to repeat it with Sevilla.”

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