herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

'Pep's a genius' says star Costa

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Bayern Munich star Douglas Costa has praised Pep Guardiola as a "genius" but has no intention of leaving the club when the coach exits at the end of the season.

Douglas Costa, 25, has enjoyed a successful start to life at Bayern following his summer move from Shakhtar Donetsk, and he was this week named the Bundesliga's best outfield player in Kicker's prestigious player poll.

He has recorded 12 assists - more than any other player in the league - and scored two goals.

The Brazil international said last month that he opted to join Bayern over Chelsea because he wanted to play under Guardiola, and he said yesterday: "It's true, I joined Bayern because of Pep.

"The first six months with him have been outstanding; the next sixth months will certainly be outstanding too. I have learned a lot from Pep."

He added: "He's a genius. I can learn more from him in an hour than from others in one year.

"He not only lifts you to the next level on the pitch, but also in your mind. He has revealed totally new options to me. I did not know that was possible when I got to Munich. He found a new position for me.

"I enjoy the freedom in the centre of the pitch. I already improved a lot at Bayern, and my dream would be to turn into one of the three best players in the world here."

He stressed that although Guardiola is to leave the club, he "never for one second" considered leaving Germany after only year.

"No chance, I have a lot of goals here," he said.

Bayern have already confirmed Carlo Ancelotti as Guardiola's replacement, and Douglas Costa said: "He's one of the biggest coaches in the world."

Guardiola has said he intends to manage in the Premier League when his Bayern contract expires at the end of the season and Douglas Costa said: "I wish him all the best at his next destination. He will certainly do an incredible job there."

The former Barcelona coach has made clear there are several challenges he wants to take on during his career in management, and he is reportedly interested in leading the Brazilian national team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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