The World Cup winner thinks the Bayern Munich coach has passed on his philosophy to his Germany internationals, and admits the side are playing more pragmatically now
The former Barcelona coach has been in charge of Bayern since the summer of 2013, with the 43-year-old having led the side to a domestic double in his first season in charge.
Matthaus believes the Spaniard’s football philosophy has rubbed off on his players and subsequently worked its way into the national side via the Bayern contingent.
"It's true that Guardiola has a certain influence in our team. It includes a lot of Bayern players and they bring some of their own style,” he said.
“Guardiola won so many trophies at Barcelona that he had a huge impact. He took some of his Barcelona philosophy to Bayern and, as Germany have so many Bayern players, there is a touch of Guardiola in the team.”
Matthaus lifted the World Cup trophy as skipper of the national side in 1990 – a feat that no other German captain has achieved since – and still holds the record for most tournament appearances with 25.
Although Joachim Low’s Germany side are known to play attractive football, Matthaus admits the team have reverted to a more pragmatic style to guarantee results in what will be their fourth successive World Cup semi-final.
"Winning is the most important thing at a World Cup. We've spent the past eight years playing attractive, technical football, with a style that nobody knew in Germany, and it was well-received,” Matthaus said.
“Now, there have been changes that have removed some of the 'beauty' in our game, but we're more focused on winning.
"In South Africa, Germany surprised everybody with their good football. Here in Brazil they're playing more efficiently, going in search of the win.
“Now our defence is more solid, and in Germany we say that the attack wins games, but the defence wins titles.
“That is exactly what the Germany team are doing when compared with their last two World Cups.”
Low’s team will attempt to reach the World Cup final when they take on the host nation, Brazil, in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.