Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Bayern Munich star Javier Martinez has revealed that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola “would come and ask me about my time with Bielsa over and over again” when he managed the German side.
Former Athletic Bilbao star Martinez, 31, made the comments in an interview with football news website ‘Goal’ where he spoke about his time with Guardiola, 49, who managed Bayern Munich between 2013 and 2016.
Martinez said: “When I trained with Pep, he would come and ask me about my time with Bielsa over and over again.
“He wanted to know how he trained and dealt with players. The respect is mutual because Pep admires Bielsa and Bielsa admires Pep.”
Martinez first made a name for himself playing at Athletic Bilbao between 2006 and 2012. He briefly coincided with current Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa, 64, who managed the Spanish club between 2011 and 2013.
Martinez went on to recall a match when the managers played against each other while Guardiola was still at Barcelona, saying: “I still remember a match.
“It was Athletic Bilbao against Barcelona in San Mames one night. It was raining when Bielsa and Pep faced each other. Tactically it was incredible. It is the most beautiful football match I have seen in my life.”
Martinez went on to praise the Argentine boss saying: “The way he manages, his speeches… He is unique. He is a manager that takes you to your physical limit.
“He simply knows how to squeeze everything out of you because he takes you to a higher level. I did not just learn from him in sport. I also grew as a person.
“Sometimes, his speeches would last an hour without saying a single word about football. He just spoke about life.”
Martinez has played at Bayern Munich since 2012 helping them win the Bundesliga seven consecutive times since his first season at the club and the Champions League in 2013.
Martinez suffered a muscular injury at the end of the first half during Bayern’s 2-0 victory over VfL Wolfsburg on 21st December last year.
The injury was reportedly scheduled to keep him off the pitch for six weeks, however it is unclear when he will return to the lineup.
Bayern were drawn to play Chelsea on Tuesday 25th February in the Champions League Round of 16.
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