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The Bayern Munich manager has hailed the aerial strength of his forward and says his prowess in the air is a unique asset unrivalled in the game

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola believes Mario Mandzukic's heading ability marks him out as the best forward in world football.

The Croatia striker struck twice in the Bavarians' 3-2 win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday to take his tally for the season to seven goals in 10 Bundesliga appearances.

The arrival of Guardiola at the Allianz Arena had led to speculation that Mandzukic could be surplus to requirements as a result of the Spaniard's preference for a striker-less 'false nine' system during his time with Barcelona.

But the 27-year-old has hit the ground running on the back of his 20 goals in all competitions last season and earned the highest of praise from his coach in the process.

Guardiola told reporters after the game: "With his ability to head the ball inside the penalty area, Mandzukic is the best forward in the world."

Saturday's victory was Bayern's eighth in 10 league games and continues their unbeaten start to the season, but Guardiola emphasised just how difficult a test his side had overcome this weekend.

"Berlin are the best team we've played against," he added.

Mario Gotze scored FCB's third with his first league goal for the club since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in a €37 million [£32m] deal over the summer, with the victory maintaining Bayern's one-point lead over second-placed BVB.

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