Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Friday hailed the stylistic brilliance of women’s football as England prepare to face Germany in the Euro 2022 final match of Sunday.
The Spaniard is recognised as a coach who encourages technical excellence, having been brought up through the FC Barcelona system and taken the teachings with him.
As coach of FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and lately Manchester City, Guardiola has nurtured teams through innovation, looking for his players to produce a possession-based game.
There has been fluidity and intensity at the core of his teams, and the end result has been the emergence of some of football’s most entertaining, highly-skilled teams of the modern era.
He recognises excellence when he sees it, and Guardiola believes it is coursing through the women’s game at present.
Sunday’s final match is set to be played in front of a full house at Wembley, with the tournament having already smashed previous European Championship attendance records.
“Well, I think they deserve all the credit, women footballers around the world, how they rise, how they are doing incredibly good. So, they deserve what they are getting,” Guardiola said.
“Before, years ago, there was maybe not the media, maybe it was not being followed like it is, and it has happened because they are doing incredible things in the style, the way they play.”
Given his previous Bayern Munich allegiance, Guardiola is reluctant to pick a winner.
This is in spite of the fact that a number of England’s squad play for Manchester City’s women’s team, including Ellen White, Lauren Hemp and Keira Walsh.
Germany have won the Women’s Euros eight times previously, while England have yet to be champions.
“Before, I was working in Germany, I want the best for both [teams],” said Guardiola, whose Manchester City team will face Liverpool in the Community Shield in Leicester on Saturday.
“Of course, we want a good final. England can play a good game, and it’s a big success for both national teams to get to the final. Of course both will want to win it, at an incredible scenario at Wembley.
“I think the crowd will be completely full and hopefully they can enjoy a good game and the best team wins. Congratulations. It’s so nice for England — arriving at the final is a big achievement.”(NAN)