Cruyff in Roy Keane diss, praises Neville brothers

Former Manchester United midfielder believes a number of former Red Devils could go on to become great managers, but Keane not one of them.

Having represented Barcelona, Manchester United and Netherlands in the 1990s, Jordi Cruyff, now 39, played with a number of great players and has claimed that, with hindsight, it is easy to single out the footballers who had the traits to become a first-rate manager.

At Camp Nou, Jordi shared a locker room with Txiki Begiristain, Hristo Stoichkov, Ivan de la Pena, Ronald Koeman, Luis Figo and Gheorghe Hagi, however, it was Josep Guardiola who, for Cruyff, stood out as the one most likely to succeed in management.

'I played with Pep at Barcelona and you could tell he had the intelligence to be a great coach. He was not a fast player, or a strong player. It meant his technique was excellent on the ball. I don’t mean juggling with the ball and tricks – that’s not technique – but technique in decision making and his first touch, and with his two-touch football,' said Cruyff to Daily Mail.

He continued: 'It gave him a sixth sense because he didn’t have the speed, the explosiveness, or the stamina – he didn’t know how to jump.

'Everything was based on intelligence, movement and anticipation. Everything was considered and thought-out. He had the profile to be a great manager. Of course, there are a lot of players who you think will be a good manager but are not.'

At Old Trafford, Cruyff would share the pitch with Peter Schmeichel, Eric Cantona, Andy Cole, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Jaap Stam and Dwight Yorke. Two players he believes will make excellent coaches are Gary Neville and Phil Neville, however, he was always doubtful over Keane's credentials.

'I never thought Roy Keane would be a great manager. No, I would have said Gary and Phil Neville would do well – they had the right education and passion for it. Ryan Giggs? If he’s not tired of playing football after so many years, then he could be a manager. There are some players who have the luxury of being able to choose what they want to do.'

image: © joncandy

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