Former Bayern Munich defender Mehdi Benatia has explained why Pep Guardiola maintains nothing more than a professional relationship with the players he manages.
The Spanish manager signed the centre-back from Roma in August 2014, and the Moroccan played under the two-time Champions League winner for two years.
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Under Guardiola, Benatia won two Bundesliga titles as well as the German Cup in 2016.Now at Qatari club Al Duhail, the 32-year-old revealed the Manchester City boss doesn’t care about being friends with his players as he questioned the manager’s people skills.
“It’s my opinion that many share: Guardiola is someone who does not attach much importance to human relationships,’ Benatia told Radio Monte Carlo via Daily Mail.
“He says it is because he has been disappointed in the past. “He said to me: “I bought you, I wanted you. You have this quality and the other quality. I need this, I will teach you this and that, you are here to do what I say, but we are not here to be friends.”
It did lead to conflicts between the pair, with the centre-back explaining the difference in relationship that he shared with then Roma coach Rudi Garcia and Pep.
“I just left Rome with Rudi Garcia. We weren’t friends, but we had a great relationship,” Benatia revealed.
“The same with Francesco Guidolin in Udinese, but with Pep, no. He is the boss, he is the one who decides, he is the one who tells you how to play.
“I said to him spontaneously: ‘You bought me for 30 million, so I have quality. If you took me to change me, you have to look for someone else.’”
However, the Moroccan admitted that Guardiola is a sound tactician, and probably the best in the business. “He is perhaps the best tactician in the world,” he acknowledged.
I was 28 years old when I joined Bayern, and I think with a lot of football knowledge. And yet you get the impression every day of discovering a new facet of football with him.”
Benatia, who now plays in the Qatari Stars League, has made eight league appearances for the Red Knights this season.
He retired from international football with Morocco in October after representing the Atlas Lions for 10 years.