Thiago Alcantara has outlined the similarity between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola which he believes “sets them apart” from other managers.
The Liverpool midfielder has a unique perspective on the two Premier League bosses whose rivalry goes back to their Bundesliga days, having played under Guardiola at Barcelona and Bayern Munich before being signed by Klopp last summer.
In between, the 30-year-old has been coached by the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Hansi Flick at Bayern, becoming a Champions League winner under the latter manager last season, having previously won Europe’s top club prize under Guardiola at Barcelona.
Klopp and Guardiola of course have differing approaches to the game, but Thiago says what makes both managers stand out is their unshakeable belief in their tactical ideologies – along with their ability to ensure all their players know exactly what their roles are.
“I will always speak positive things in an open way. What sets these two coaches apart is the idea of having a game methodology and knowing how to pass it on to the players, ” said Thiago in an interview with ESPN.
“The players, in addition to listening and having that respect, do what the coach wants. This was the most important part of the stage that I lived with Guardiola and that I am living with Klopp.”
Thiago is targeting a third career Champions League winners’ medal this season – although Real Madrid stand in Liverpool’s way with the Reds needing to overturn a 3-1 deficit at Anfield on Wednesday.
And the Spain international believes Klopp’s side have the hunger to overcome Zinedine Zidane’s side as they target a repeat of their 2019 triumph, after their Premier League title defence fell by the wayside.
“The greatest quality of this team, me talking to them before playing, is the resilience of year after year Liverpool had before getting the titles,” he said.
“This resilience was evolving, winning more and more titles, this year, the same thing.
“With the lack of fans, the team needs to give this extra shift to compete for the title. Even so, the team wants to continue winning, scoring goals. This is the main thing, that the team continues with this hunger intact.”