Rio de Janeiro, Dec 28 (IANS) Bayern Munich winger Douglas Costa has heaped praise on coach Pep Guardiola, saying the secret to the Spanish tactician’s success is that he is “addicted to football”.
The Brazilian joined Bayern from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in July for 30 million euros, the fourth highest transfer fee in the German club’s history, reports Xinhua.
The deal raised eyebrows among some observers, but Costa has since justified the move with five goals across all competitions and seven Bundesliga assists.
The 25-year-old attributes his rapid adaption to the confidence shown in him by former FC Barcelona coach Guardiola.
“He called me to tell me that he wanted to sign me,” Costa told Brazil’s Esporte Espetacular on Sunday. “I knew there were players already in my position but he told me that if I was going to join the club, I would play.
“When I arrived at Bayern the first thing he said to me was: ‘Are you ready to open your mind and learn how to play football?’ I said: ‘Of course’.
“I previously thought that the role of the manager was to pick the team and then half hope for the best. But he seems to play with you. He is really different. I think that I can sum it up by saying he’s addicted to what he does. He is addicted to football and that is why he is a phenomenon.”
The Brazil international said Guardiola’s focus on attacking football has changed the way he thinks about the game.
“It’s extraordinary to train with him because there are moments I’ve had with him that I never would have experienced with anybody else,” he said.
“For example, at Shakhtar I used to track back more to defend. At Bayern I help to defend but I attack a lot more. When he corrects me, he corrects the offensive side of my game. The interesting thing about him is that he brings out the best in everybody. That’s why he is who he is. We defend by keeping the ball.”