Former Real Madrid boss Manuel Pellegrini has spoken about how he feels he changed the way football was played in Spain and how the former world champions even employed his playing style.
The now Manchester City boss has spells with Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga, and was largely praised for the way his teams played attacking, open football.
The Chilean took time out of his summer holidays to speak to El Mercurio and revealed much about his time in Spain.
“I changed the way they played in Spain, using loose midfielders instead of players in fixed positions. That was acquired by the Spain team. In La Liga, before I went to Villarreal, they used forwards as wingers but I produced more mobile midfielders with space.What I did at Villarreal was bigger than winning trophies. There I achieved what no one had ever done, and no one ever will.
“And I accomplished something no one had ever done at Malaga either. Then I went to Madrid and we had the best season in the club’s history to that point, but didn’t win trophies. I did things that no one did before. Is that a coincidence?”
Pellegrini also went on to talk about the Premier League compared to La Liga, saying the best football is played in Spain but the best league is the English one for its competitiveness and entertainment.
He also discussed his managerial rival, and former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, and how they differ – with the Pellegrini taking the back seat when his team lifts a trophy and the Portuguese liking to take centre stage and proclaim how special he is.
“When he wins, Mourinho wants to take full credit. I didn’t do that when I won the Premier League. I don’t have a problem with him. He’s not my enemy and there’s no conflict, but I disagree with him on everything. I don’t want to analyse him as a person,” he commented.