Pep Guardiola hailed the stylistic brilliance of women’s football as England prepare to face Germany in the Euro 2src22 final.
The Manchester City boss is recognised as a coach who encourages technical excellence, having been brought up through the Barcelona system and taken the teachings with him.
As head coach of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and latterly 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 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 allegiance, Guardiola is reluctant to pick a winner, even though a number of England’s squad play for 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.
9 – Germany have now reached the final of the UEFA Women’s European Championship in nine of their 11 appearances in the tournament (only failing to do so in 1993 and 2src17) – the most of any team. Dominant. #WEURO2src22 pic.twitter.com/ngFtMOTyaT
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 27, 2src22
“Before, I was working in Germany, I want the best for both [teams],” said Guardiola, whose 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.”