Bayern Munich defender Javi Martinez says he has loved watching Leicester City’s fairytale Premier League triumph, but is glad there is no such uprooting of the established order in Germany.
While Leicester proved everyone wrong by going from relegation fodder to Premier League champions, the Bundesliga has proven somewhat more predictable, with Munich five points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund with two games to play.
Leicester’s Premier League title is their first, while Munich’s impending league title will be their 26th.
“I’m a Leicester fan,” Martinez told the Daily Mail.
“What Leicester and Tottenham have done is amazing but Leicester deserve it. It’s so nice to see that it’s not another big team.
“In England, the story is fine but we wouldn’t want it in Germany!”
Pep Guardiola’s arrival in England next season could change all that, and Martinez was full of praise for the Bayern coach and said Manchester City’s players are in for a treat.
“Pep is amazing,” said Martinez.
“He has taught me so much. He makes you watch videos, he has tactics, exercises. He’s always studying. He and his team are always watching videos.
“They watch everything: how you train, how you play against your rivals. We always have that [specific] detail on what you can improve. For a player, what Pep can do for you is amazing.”
The midfielder-turned-defender said he and Guardiola watched hundreds of videos in preparation for the positional switch.
“We watched more than 200 videos together,” Martinez explained.
“From the start, Pep told me he could see me as a defender and I had to be ready. So we started to exercise every day. A lot of repetitive movements on the training pitch. It could be boring at times – but you need it.
“I played as a defender with [Marcelo] Bielsa at Athletic Bilbao. He was so special and gave me something I had never seen but what Pep wanted wasn’t the same.
“Bielsa made you go man-to-man, so it was easier.
“But with Pep, we trained. First month, second month, over and over. Then you start to improve. Your mentality changes and you start thinking like a centre-back.”
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