Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes European football is more important than the Premier League in helping young English players reach their full potential.
Guardiola has suggested that it is only by playing regularly in the latter stages of the Champions League at major stadiums such as the Nou Camp, the Bernabeu, the Allianz Arena and the Juventus Stadium that England’s best young players can develop the right mental attitude to win major tournaments.
The Spaniard reckons that young players such as City’s Raheem Sterling and John Stones, and Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose, Dele Alli and Kyle Walker, can match the world’s best developing talent and help the country win its first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.
As far as Guardiola is concerned, they can help England end the long wait for major international success that Spain endured before winning Euro 2008, a triumph that came 44 years after their last significant trophy.
However, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has hinted that the Premier League needs to be more flexible with its schedule, in order to give those players the chance to go as far in the Champions League as possible.
“From my experience in Spain and Germany and now here, you cannot imagine how good the young players here are,” said Guardiola.
“But then I could not imagine the (England) generation of Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand were not able to do something more. As a spectator, I don’t understand.
“For example, compare it with Spain, who always talk about the generation of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets. They are top players. But those players I mentioned before are of the same level.
“Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, John Stones, Raheem Sterling, they are top. From my point of view, the quality is there and they have the quality at Under-19 and Under-21 level too.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate