Pep Guardiola hasn’t done bad for himself as a manager, has he?
Despite being a professional coach for less than ten years, he has already taken command of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City. Furthermore, he has secured the small matter of 21 major honours across those fruitful nine years.
The moral of the story being that Guardiola is undoubtedly one of the world’s finest managers.
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One player who knows that fact more than most is Dani Alves. The Brazilian full-back worked under Guardiola for four years at Barcelona and trophies arrived in their droves.
Working together, the pair secured two Champions League titles, three La Liga trophies and the Copa del Rey on two occasions.
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Alves is looking to add to his own, personal silverware collection this weekend with yet another Champions League final. Now with Juventus, the 34-year-old is a win over Real Madrid away from his fourth accolade in the competition.
It has also given the Brazilian a chance to reminisce on his career and his aforementioned time under the wing of Guardiola. After all, it was the Spaniard who not only brought Alves to Barcelona but propelled him to the heights he continues to reach today too.
Any potential glory for Alves on Saturday, as a result, should see at least some credit given to his ex-Barcelona boss.
That’s all well and good, but what’s the secret to Guardiola’s genius? Just how has he been able to channel such a tactical nous and across three leagues at that?
Well, according to Alves, the City manager is able to access his genius by simply rubbing his head. And yes, you did read that right.
The 34-year-old spoke to the Players Tribune ahead of his Saturday clash with Real and revealed: "The funniest thing was if we came in at halftime and the game wasn't going well. Pep would sit down and rub his forehead.
"You know how he rubs his head? You've seen it, right? Like he's massaging his brain, searching for the genius to come to him.
"He would do this right in front of us in the dressing room. Then, like magic, it would come to him. Bang! 'I've got it!'
“Then he would jump up and start barking out instructions, drawing maths and figures on the board: 'We will do this, this and this, and then this is how we will score.'
"So we would go out, and we would do this, this and this. And that's how we would score. It was crazy."
All that vigorous scalp massaging might not be raw frustration accommodated by baldness, after all. While the head rubbing is simply Guardiola’s engine of thinking things through, it’s rather amusing to imagine it as the key to his genius.
It’s certainly worked effectively for the Spaniard and Alves’ career in accordance.
That extra bit of mental channeling could be needed for an assault on the Premier League title next season, though. Given the form and class of the teams around him, it won’t be an easy task but a minor blot on an immaculate copybook if so.
As a result, City fans, rather bizarrely, will now be hoping for a fair share of head rubbing next season.
Who do you think will win in Cardiff - Real Madrid or Juventus? Have YOUR say in the comment box below
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