“Our job now is an office, that they do not get injured and nothing else. There are no longer coaches are player managers, they do not get hurt. There's not much time”, Pep Guardiola acknowledged with pity before the microphones of Esporte Interativo when they asked him about the start of his old second coach Domènec Torrent in Flamengo and how he could change his game model.

Some symptomatic statements of how football is for Pep Guardiola and how he enjoys building around a group and a specific way of playing. From the evolution of the teams to victory in a certain way. In Barcelona it was his ecosystem but in Bavaria and Manchester he had to work against the current. Each training session was key to explaining new concepts that had been acquired at the Masía since the youngest and, of all his days in Munich, he only missed one session. The reason? Benfica.

Bayern Shield / Flag

Both teams met in the quarterfinals in the 2015-16 Champions League and Pep Guardiola praised Rui Vitoria before and after. His team, he said, was defensively “at the level of one of Arrigo Sacchi.” Major words that were not mere courtesy. I really thought about it. So much so, that he shut himself up for 12 days in the office to watch and dismantle up to ten Benfica matches, according to The Athletic recalls. Back pain for hours and hours in the chair and even skipping training sessions to see how he could harm his rival who ended up becoming a 45-minute video on every detail to take into account to beat Benfica.

As the coach anticipated, the tie was difficult. In Munich they won by the minimum with a goal from Vidal in minute 2 and in Lisbon they tied at two with goals from the Chilean and Müller for the Bavarians and from Raúl Jiménez and Talisca for the Portuguese. The goal of the midfielder gave them the pass but the tie was very hard work.

In the semifinals, Bayern were not able to break the wall of Atlético de Madrid enough to take the cross and were left out although they were not short of chances. The return in Bavaria (2-1) was a total siege that ended without a knockdown at Atlético, who later lost the final on penalties to Real Madrid.