Pep Guardiola has been hailed as “complete as a coach”, with Chelsea forward Pedro a big fan of a manager he worked under at Barcelona and now competes against in the Premier League at Manchester City.
A World Cup-winning forward is set to be reunited with his former boss at Camp Nou this weekend when his current club take in a trip to the Etihad Stadium.
Pedro is expecting a tough test against the man who handed him his Barca debut in 2008 and oversaw an era of unprecedented success in Catalunya.
“He was the best for me. He put me in the first team. You could straight away see Pep was an amazing coach. I won titles, we played great football – and he went to Bayern and now City, and won more titles,” Pedro told the Daily Express.
“He is complete as a coach. He was a player, so he understands players, but he is complete tactically, and very good at motivation.”
After enjoying considerable success with Barcelona, Pedro left for England in 2015.
He admits to having endured a testing start to life at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea offering a tame defence of their Premier League crown under Jose Mourinho.
“That first year was probably the most difficult in my career,” added the 31-year-old forward.
“I had the expectation to win titles. Chelsea were the champions. But we lost games. It was difficult in the dressing room with players not happy. But I learned a lot.
“Under [Antonio] Conte in the first season I played a lot – he was a different character. It was a good season and to win the Premier League was great.”
Pedro is now working under another Italian in the former of Maurizio Sarri.
“The character is different again,” said the Spain international.
“But his idea for me is the best, because when you recover the ball you are close to the target.”
Sarri is still working on implementing his philosophy at Chelsea, but the Blues remain in the hunt for major silverware and Champions League qualification.
Pedro added on the targets for a team already through to the Carabao Cup final, where they will face Guardiola’s City: “We are still alive in four competitions.
“It is good to be in a final. In the league it could be better, and against City it will be tough, but the top four is the target.”