Pep Guardiola gives a 15 minute lecture on Lionel Messi’s false 9 role for Barcelona

Thanks to migerucb.tumblr we are able to provide an English outline to the following video.

Last week Pep Guardiola was in Argentina, and during his trip the future Bayern Munich boss gave a lecture on Lionel Messi’s false 9 role for Barcelona.

Guardiola began by explaining his football philosophy of building attacks from the back, stating that back-to-front moves require at least 15 passes to be effective. In order to build such attacks a team needs to be able to move up the pitch as a unit, and Lionel Messi’s position as a false 9 role was key to giving Barcelona the ability to play in such a fashion.

Guardiola drew on the 2008/2009 Clasico at the Nou Camp to help illustrate his point.

Pep showed how back then Messi was positioned on the right wing, not in a central role, as as a result the Argentine forward was starved of touches as Real’s defenders were able to cut off the supply chain to the Flea. (Barcelona won that match 2-0.)

Next, Guardiola looked at the 2008/2009 Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu to show how he began to develop Lionel Messi’s role into a more central position.

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Pep realised that by playing Messi in the middle and in a deeper role, Real’s defenders stopped man-marking his star player. Real’s fullbacks were occupied with Barcelona’s wingers, while the Madridistas centre-halves refused to be dragged up the pitch for fear that that would leave huge gaps behind the Los Blancos backline.

The result: Messi was afforded freedom to express himself and Barcelona carved their opponents open again, and again, and again.

Guardiola finished his lecture by showing how Real Madrid have attempted to develop their defensive game against Barcelona to cater for Messi’s false 9 role.

Pep noticed how over the years Real have tried to man-mark Messi’s new role, which in turn has open up opportunities for the likes of Alexis Sanchez to break in behind the Madrid rearguard. It’s all become mind-games.

“I became a coach to find out what the opponent does, to find the answers… Football is like chess. You need to know what the opponent does, their movements, to make adjustments.” – Pep Guardiola.

Watch the brilliant 15 minute lecture (in Spanish), as recorded on a mobile phone, below.

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