As Mourinho's Real Madrid and Barça's Guardiola prepare to clash in the Kings Cup final, the authors of the book 'Mourinho v. Guardiola' say the best is yet to come from the two Spanish giants.
BARCELONA, SPAIN. REUTERS -Even the most fervent Spanish football fans did not think they could ever witness four clashes in a row between Real Madrid and Barcelona in less than eighteen days.
Four matches that have become a real duel. Not only for the teams and the fans but also for two of the most successful coaches in Europe, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
Mourinho, known for his controversial personality and a very particular way of managing his image, has applied his roots as the son of a university professor, to a coaching style that mixes university with sport, Juan Carlos Cubeiro author of the book "Mourinho versus Guardiola" said.
"Both use a very scientific method and 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. Mourinho and his assistants avoid training what is not going to be done on the pitch," he said.
Guardiola succeeded Dutchman Frank Rijkaard in 2008 and has had huge success in the Nou Camp hotseat winning La Liga for the past two seasons and the Champions League in 2009.
Cubeiro said Guardiola had been trying to work on his players state of mind to dump the euphoria and focus them on the matches.
"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 preparing and teaching ahead of the next matches is that, to maintain their style and their hunger for victory independently of what they have already achieved," Cubeiro said.
Real Madrid have only lost three league matches this season cementing the game on fast counterattacks and Cristiano Ronaldo's goal instinct (29).
"Mourinho is more successful in his second season. Everyone recognises that. He is building a team and creating a playing style at Real Madrid that they did not have before, very centred on Cristiano Ronaldo, his 'fetisch' player at this moment. Guardiola's style is much more divided among the players, Messi is the key figure in goal scoring, Victor Valdes is also in good shape but all the players are important," Cubeiro said.
Mourinho won the UEFA Cup and the domestic cup double in first full season he was in charge of Portuguese club Porto in 2003.
One year later he won two successive league titles and Porto became European champion.
The Portuguese led Chelsea to their first English league title in 50 years in 2005 and moved to Inter Milan in 2008 completing a Champions League/Serie A/Italian Cup treble in 2010.
Appointed Real Madrid coach in 2010, the often outspoken coach has angered journalists in Spain since his arrival at the end of last season by cutting back on their access to players and training.
Comparing Real Madrid and Barcelona Cubeiro asscoiated the Mourinho-Florentino partnership as a multi-national type structure, while Barcelona, he said, was more of a family run business.
"Mourinho has cemented the Florentino model which is more like a multi-national, and you can see this in the number of languages he speaks, the players are not deeply rooted, in fact the nursery, Valdebebas, contributes double the amount of players than "La Masia" to "La Liga" but not to Real Madrid," he said. "FC Barcelona is more like a family-run company. A long-standing company, admired - big but with deeply-rooted values. They have professionals, footballers born and homegrown as footballers in "La Masia," the author added.
Barcelona are eight points ahead of Real Madrid in La Liga and Cubeiro said that, even if Real doesn't win any silverware this season, in 2011-2012 both could become the best teams ever.
"Even not winning anything, even not going to "La Cibeles" this year. As I said he (Mourinho) is more successful in his second season... a Guardiola that is a bit more tired in 2011 / 2012 and a Mourinho who knows the club better suggests the best is yet to come. This season has already been delicious but next we will definitely see perhaps the two best teams in history," he said.
Co-author of "Mourinho versus Guardiola book, Leonor Gallardo believes the two coaches are very similar.
"They are very similar, perhaps Mourinho's work could be considered more academic, he is a man with a very strong work method whereas Guardiola's working methods are more inate," she said.
The next clash between the two giants will be on Wednesday (April 20) in the King's Cup final in Valencia.