Ex-Nigeria coach Lagerback explains Pep & Klopp respect
Former Super Eagles and current Norway coach, Lars Lagerback, has expressed his respect for the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.
Lagerback made the comments to FIFA as he builds up to face Spain in the UEFA Euros 2020 qualifiers.
Asked about facing Luis Enrique’s Spain, the 70-year-old ended up mentioning the Manchester City and Liverpool managers.
“In this first game you’ll be facing Luis Enrique, who is one of the next generation of top coaches. Is there any you particularly admire?” asked FIFA
“What Enrique has done at club level – and having had mostly good results with Spain – he is certainly one. The coach I have the most respect for whom I’ve met is Pep Guardiola. That’s definitely a coach who has a special form of leadership. He really wants to organise and push the team in every game they play. I’ve also seen him coach the team and I really have a lot of respect for him,” said the Swede.
FIFA followed with the question: “Is that intensity and perfectionism which he embodies a reflection of where football is going in general, or is it purely his individual personality?
“There’s not that many coaches I can see [like him]. You really have to have a strong character to work in that way that Pep has done in his clubs. Even if they have the best players, you still have to organise them, you have to push them to perform week in, week out. These days I don’t think it’s so easy as a coach with well-paid players changing clubs all the time," Lagerback went on.
"So, I think Pep is a little bit unique in that way. But if you look at [Jurgen] Klopp, for instance, the way his team is playing, I think he’s certainly similar - despite having never seen him work. I think the best teams need coaches like this, who really push the team, handling all the things inside the club - and the pressure,” said the man who led Nigeria in 2010," concluded the Swede.