Guardiola surprised by Guangzhou`s quality

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 14:14

Agadir: Though Bayern Munich players knew nothing about Guangzhou Evergrande before the semi-final at Club World Cup, their head coach Pep Guardiola said he knew Chinese club`s key men and was surprised by their qualities.

Guangzhou, the first-ever Chinese side to have won the Asian Champions League, will challenge the European Champions League winner at Agadir Stadium here Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

Jerome Boateng and Toni Kroos, who attended the pre-match conference, both said they knew nothing about Marcello Lippi`s side which they never played against before.

"We will watch the match video tonight or tomorrow morning with the coach. Then we will know them better," said Boateng.

Guardiola, who followed Bayern`s duo to face the media, said he tried to watch "as many matches as possible" in the last two or three days to know the Chinese club.

The 42-year-old said he also seek some information from his friends in training in Chinese leagues.

"I was surprised to find they have such good quality players like Conca, Muriqui, Elkeson. They are top-level ones," said Guardiola, referring to the South American trio of the opponent.

"And also Gao Lin. They pass well and are quick in the front. And they have experienced Zheng Zhi, who was a Celtic player and might play in England before."

Besides these key players, Guardiola was cautious about the tactics of his counterpart Lippi, especially when Bayen was listed as the favourite to win the title.

"I think, people normally think Bayern is favourite before the match. But against an Italian coach that will change, especially when they are not regarded as favourites, they are very dangerous in that moment."

Though he could become the first coach to win three titles at Club World Cup with two different clubs after his success in Barcelona, Guardiola said it was "not particularly special" for Bayern to win in Morocco.

"I`d like to win for the players. They won everything last season. And I also would like to win for Bayern."

IANS

First Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 14:14

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