Man City coach Guardiola salutes 'incredible' Venables

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Pep Guardiola paid tribute to "incredible" Terry Venables on Monday as the Manchester City manager responded to the death of the boss responsible for revitalising his former club Barcelona.

3 months ago
After Venables died on Sunday aged 80, a picture emerged on social media showing Guardiola gazing up in admiration at him on the pitch at Barcelona's Camp Nou.
Guardiola was a wide-eyed 15-year-old learning his trade in Barca's youth academy back then, with the photo capturing him during his role as a ball boy for his club's European Cup semi-final victory over Gothenburg in 1986.
Guardiola has his arms raised in celebration while Venables soaks in the acclaim of the crowd as he is carried on the shoulders of two Barca players.
"As a Barcelona fan he gave us first La Liga after 11 years. His impact there was incredible. He introduced something that had never been before, especially a certain type of pressing and the set pieces. I remember how many goals our central defender scored. It's a big loss to English football," Guardiola told reporters on Monday.
Guardiola went on to captain Barcelona and is regarded one of their greatest managers, but the Spanish giants were not so dominant when Venables took charge in 1984.
Venables led Barcelona to their first La Liga title in 11 years in 1985 and took them to the European Cup final a year later before a shock defeat to Steaua Bucharest on penalties. Guardiola might not have played for Venables, who went on to manage Tottenham and England, but he is well aware of the charismatic coach's impact on his old club.
"I was only a ballboy but the impact in that time on the way they played. I remember talking to friends of mine who played with him and their words for him not just as a manager but as a person. He was so funny, singing Frank Sinatra on Catalan shows. He was a proper, proper man," Guardiola said.

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