Juan Carlos Cubeiro, author of the book ‘Mourinho versus Guardiola’, believes Wednesday’s ‘El Clasico’ Copa del Rey final is a dead heat.
Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid meet for the second time in four days to contest the final of the cup, following their 1-1 stalemate in La Liga on Saturday.
That draw left Barcelona on the verge of winning the Spanish top-flight, but manager Pep Guardiola still has Wednesday’s clash at the Mestalla and Barca’s upcoming Champions League semi-final tie against Jose Mourinho’s Real to contend with.
Anticipation for the El Clasico duels is reaching fever pitch in Spain, and Cubeiro insists the battle between the two charismatic managers is as intriguing as whatever happens on the pitch.
“Both use a very scientific method,” Cubeiro said.
“Starting with Mourinho, he says that he combines university and sport. His mother is a university professor and his father was a famous Portuguese soccer player.”
“So what he creates in his training sessions is what will take place on the pitch during 90 minutes, with the same variations of the match.”
“In the case of Guardiola, he has been trying to dampen the euphoria. It’s more of a state of mind.”
“His players know perfectly how to play together, the famous ‘tiki taka’, the pass and possession of the ball, therefore what he is teaching is to maintain their style and their hunger for victory.”
Mourinho moved to the Bernabeu at the conclusion of last season, having led Italian club Inter Milan to a prestigious treble.
He may not win any silverware this year as his side come up against Barca in the league, the Copa del Rey final and in Europe, but Cubeiro expects Los Blancos to only get better as their continue their tutelage under the Portuguese manager.
“Mourinho will be more successful in his second season. Everyone recognises that,” he said.
“He is building a team and creating a playing style at Real Madrid that they did not have before, very much centred on Cristiano Ronaldo.”
“A Guardiola that may be a bit more tired in 2011/12 and a Mourinho who knows the club better suggests the best is yet to come.”
“This season has already been spectacular but next we will see perhaps the two best teams in history.”
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