Toni: ‘Guardiola’s next step: Italy!’

Luca Toni gives Pep Guardiola's profile in the Manchester City vs United derby: 'But then he must come to Italy!'

The former striker has a special relationship with the superstar Coach, as they played together for Brescia in the 2001-02 season.

Luca Toni gives Pep Guardiola's profile in the Manchester City vs United derby: 'But then he must come to Italy!'

The former striker has a special relationship with the superstar Coach, as they played together for Brescia in the 2001-02 season.

“He was a fantastic player and already a Coach on the pitch,” Toni told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “Above all else, he was a hugely humble teammate. He came as a symbol and captain of Barcelona, and he was immediately at our service. You really couldn't call him a VIP.

“You could tell he already understood and followed our movements, that he loved possession, which became the foundation of his game. He's a man who made it: he followed his idea and won with it.”

Toni also rejoined Guardiola when he moved to play for Bayern Munich, and they had several exchanges.

“Of course, I always sought him out and told him: 'Thank heavens you're here, I'd be finished now that it's the age of the false nine'. He told me that whoever scored would play with him, even if he was a really big man. I told him everything was easier when you had [Leo] Messi.

“In any case the Bayern experience enriched him as a Coach and as a person. He won in Spain and in Germany, now he's in England, and Italy will be next. But he'll have to take a big cut in his wages, or else get his team's city to sell one of their monuments, in order to come over.”

Toni was then asked what kind of game he expected between the two Manchester clubs.

“Psychologically it's going to be a tough game, it's a match between two of the world's best Coaches. They must have studied every move and it's going to be a beautiful show on the bench, on the pitch, everywhere.

“City will base their game on possession, even though Guardiola hasn't been there long. Mourinho will be more practical. It's going to be beautiful to watch, and I'll watch it too, but it'll be decided by the episodes.

“I only had a brief chat with Mourinho, I respect him because his players respect him. With Pep I have a closer relationship and of course I'll be supporting him.

“I heard him before he went to City and told him I'd go visit. I'm working to become a Verona director and I want to learn from the right people how a club is organised.”

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