Premier League

Samuel Eto'o explains the difference between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho

The striker worked with both coaches and he has attempted to articulate their different approaches to the game

2:30pm on Thursday 11th June 2020
Martin Macdonald

Samuel Eto’o has provided an insight into working under Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, two men who have contrasting approaches to football management.

The Cameroonian enjoyed success under both coaches, winning the Champions League in 2009 with Barcelona before making the move to Inter, where he claimed his second consecutive win in the competition, this time with the Nerazzurri.

Guardiola and Mourinho are the two most successful coaches of the past 15 years, and have naturally crossed paths numerous times due to the elite teams they have managed in that time.

For Eto’o, he lauds how the Spaniard was able to prepare and execute plans for games, even if the pair never connected on a personal level.

"I stick to what I said, and I'm not the only person who has said it," he told Marca.

"My experience with Pep at Barcelona was what it was, but on a personal level it wasn't what we hoped for. Many players have said the same about him.

"As a coach, Pep prepares games like nobody else. How he coached us in 2009 was incredible, his way of seeing attacking football, control, having the ball, rondos, Pep was the best at that.

"As a player, you had the feeling that you didn't run much, although you did, because you were enjoying it.

"They are specific techniques for those of us who love good football. For me, football is feeling like you're in a theatre, and seeing tiki-taka, passing the ball, it's not the only way to win but its special. It's Pep's way."

The opposite is said for Mourinho, whom Eto’o revealed takes on a much more hands-on approach, embracing the players as friends as well as players.

"Jose is, firstly, a friend," Eto'o continued.

"He's a person who is upfront and when he doesn't like something, he tells you. We both have strong temperaments and we understood each other well.

"He's one of the best people I have found in football. People try to present him as controversial, but it's a lie. What happens is that life, and football, is hypocritical and they prefer that to having honest people.

"Mou is a top guy. The other thing is that he only cares about the result. It's his way of seeing football and in that sense he is the No. 1. Beating him at his game is impossible, you can never beat him.

"He's a winner and a born leader. He spoke to you with the right words. He's great."

In the last face-off between Guardiola and Mourinho, the latter came out on top as his Tottenham side defeated Man City 2-0 after goals from Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-min.

Latest news

Premier League

Premier League Table: Liverpool move to within one point of first

Manchester City thrashed Everton as the top three all won convincingly on matchday 12, while Man Utd's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked.

  • 1 hour
Predicted XI

Alaba out? - How Real Madrid could line up against Sevilla

Real Madrid are sweating over the fitness of David Alaba ahead of this weekend's clash versus Sevilla

  • 9 hours
Predicted XI

Grealish still out? - How Man City could line up against West Ham

Jack Grealish and Phil Foden missed Manchester City's Champions League victory against Paris Saint-Germain

  • 10 hours
Predicted XI

No Verratti, Wijnaldum or Herrera – How PSG will line up against Saint-Etienne

PSG will be without Marco Verratti and Gini Wijnaldum when they face Saint-Etienne, but they still have Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

  • 11 hours
Predicted XI

Tierney and Odegaard to return – How Arsenal will line up against Newcastle

Arsenal will seek to bounce back from a chastening loss against Liverpool by overcoming Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday.

  • 1 day
Predicted XI

Keita and Firmino still out? How Liverpool could line up against Southampton

Jurgen Klopp will have to contend with a number of injuries if his Liverpool side are to claim all three points from Southampton

  • 1 day

Most read