Guardiola praises Mexico, Marquez

The Bayern Munich manager hailed El Tri for their "very dynamic football" and said he hopes to see the nation advance beyond the round of 16 at the World Cup.
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Mexican soccer in a conference call Tuesday with North American journalists.

"I'm a big fan of Mexican football," Guardiola said. "I played there (for Dorados de Sinaloa) for six months and I was impressed about how they love to play good football."

The 43-year-old Catalan praised the influence of El Tri's World Cup 2006 manager Ricardo La Volpe for laying down the current side's style of play and said he hopes Mexico will get to the latter stages of the World Cup sooner rather than later.

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"The stadiums are always full and (Mexico) appreciate playing with the ball," Guardiola said. "They play very dynamic football and each year new talents come out. I hope that in the future they can break the barrier of the round of 16."

He also reserved some positive words for Mexico captain Rafa Marquez, who was a key figure at Barcelona when Guardiola became manager in 2008.

"I was more than happy to see Rafa Marquez continue in fantastic form," Guardiola said. "There are maybe two or three players in the world that have that capability to make their central midfielders better through passes in the first phase (out of defense)."

Bayern Munich is set to play Chivas de Guadalajara on July 31 in Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

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