Juventus defender Medhi Benatia has explained why he believes Pep Guardiola does not communicate well with his players.
The Morocco international joined Guardiola’s Bayern Munich from Roma in 2014 and won two Bundesliga titles and the DFB-Pokal before moving to Juve on loan in August.
Benatia revealed Guardiola and Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri place similar tactical demands on their players, but he claims that the Manchester City manager is more distant with his squad as a result of some negative experiences during his resoundingly successful four-year spell in charge of Barcelona.
“They want you to play, be aggressive, to have the ball,” Benatia told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Temperamentally, they are different: Allegri is closer to the players, Guardiola does not communicate.
“He explained why to me once: he was disappointed by his relationship with some players at Barcelona, so he told me, ‘I just do my job – the coach’s’.”
Benatia nonetheless says he learned a great deal under Guardiola at Bayern, though he is happy to be back in Serie A.
“I missed everything: the league, the environment, the way of life, including the mornings when I would start with a cappuccino and the Gazzetta. And I’m happy,” he said.
“I think I’m smarter today than when I was at Roma. I learned so much at Bayern.”
The 29-year-old does admit, however, that he has been subjected to racist abuse from other players during his time in Italy.
“Racism is part of the bad things in life. And it always will be,” he said.
“Did it happen to me directly? In Italy, yes, with some players, not from the stands. They made me angry because you hear them say certain things on the pitch, which is even more ugly.”
Benatia also revealed that he rejected an approach from AC Milan in favour of joining Juve and he now has his sights firmly set on the Champions League.
“[Milan coach Vincenzo] Montella called me a few times. He’s a great person. He was waiting for the Chinese takeover before getting me, but then Juve came,” he said.
“When Allegri called me he said, ‘I want four defenders at the same level, because we want to win everything’. So here I am.
“It would be nice to win a sixth consecutive league title, because nobody has done it and it would be legendary.
“But with the players who have come this year, especially [Gonzalo] Higuain, we want the Champions League.”
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