Pep GUARDIOLA praises Nicolas OTAMENDI’s “mentality”


Manchester City coach Pep GUARDIOLA couldn’t stop praising Nicolas OTAMENDI.

Most of the time, it’s the attacking players which get all the spotlight. But not in this case. GUARDIOLA singled out Nicolas OTAMENDI as he was full of praise for the defender. Last season wasn’t the easiest of campaign’s for OTAMENDI following a move from Valencia back in 2015 but the Argentinian is slowly changing people’s minds. Speaking to reporters prior to Manchester City’s 3-0 win against Burnley (where both OTAMENDI and his compatriot Sergio AGUERO scored), here’s what GUARDIOLA had to say:

Pep GUARDIOLA praises Nicolas OTAMENDI

“I had a lot of doubts whether Nico would play or not against Stoke City because he travelled from Argentina with 10 days with a lot of pressure to qualify for the World Cup in his mind.

“He played in difficult conditions in Ecuador, travelled and arrived the day before. He is one of the players with the strongest mentality that I met in my life.

“He’s a guy who just wants to learn, in terms of ball possession, because always he was strong in the air. He really wins duels, which is necessary here in England, everywhere, but especially here in England, and how he has the courage to play. Even when he makes mistakes it doesn’t matter.

“I said before that if he loses a game he says ‘Give me the ball again and let’s play,’ and I give a lot of value to this kind of thing.

“I’m really impressed with the level he has and I’m so happy with him. He’s not afraid at all, it doesn’t matter where he plays, he has a lot of experience.

“He’s such an important guy for us. The last month, well I think all season, he has played outstanding.”

Nicolas Otamendi Manchester City
Nicolas Otamendi celebrates his goal for Manchester City. Photo via FPL.

Nicolas OTAMENDI returned the praise, here’s what he had to say about his coach:

Nicolas OTAMENDI praises Pep GUARDIOLA

“After the match, we are obliged to eat together. Nutrition and rest are important because we play continuously.

“GUARDIOLA is quite picky with diet and not only that: He tells us that we all have to learn English. This is because team meetings are in this language, and in December I have an exam. GUARDIOLA does all these things so that we can perform in the best possible way. These things help the team function.

“He is omnipresent and not only for football. He always asks how things are going with out family and everything else.”


  1. Icardi with a couple of goals last night against Sampdoria. He also headed gainst the post from a corner. Inter go top for a while till Napoli play.

    It has been a shockingly frustrating last couple of weeks for Argentines in europe since we qualified for the WC.
    Messi hasn’t scored yet, Dybala hasn’t scored since and even worse he has missed 2 last minute penalties. He’s also in trouble after criticizing Allegri, which was caught on camera.
    Simeone is struggling at Fiorentina, he has been completely overshadowed by young Chiesa.
    Druissi’s goal draught continues. After scoring 2 goals on his debut, he has only scored 1 goal in his next 15 matches!!! Off late he has been benched. On the other hand Rigoni is getting more and more minutes.
    Alario couldn’t find the net despite Leverkusen hitting 5.
    So, a bit of a dry run here.

    • Nice to see you back Saant. I have really focused on Gio Semione and Druissi a lot this season. Gio is very good but he needs to adopt to Fiorentina style of play and his teammates. Some people thought he is a one season wonder but that is completely wrong and he will prove all the doubters wrong very soon. Druissi was flying at the start of the season but but things have changed a lot after his firts five games, but that is very normal. Coz, you know, most of the players have ups and downs, esp. those who play in Europe in their fisrt season. Rigoni is doing well at this moment and he could be in Russia WC if he continues on this development.

    • Lanzini played well in 2nd half yesterday. Starting to get back into form after injury layoff. Hope sampaoli gets him in & he can be our creative engine. I think di Maria should be tried in right wing in next matches & that should complete our midfield . Acuna- lanzini- biglia-di Maria. The puzzle will be where to fit dybala upfront or keep him as a supersub

  2. The world player of the year/BDOR have become a big PR stunt for CR7 and Real Madrid F.C. Nobody in their right mind thinks C. Ronaldo is the best player right now or the other years before. Every year the criteria for the BDOR changes to suit CR and Real Madrid egos. When Bayern Munich won the UCL and Bundesliga title, Ribery was generally pick out by his Bayern Munich team mates as the most influential player on their team during the 2012/2013 European campaign yet despite Ribery scoring in the UCL final against Dortmund and putting in some big performance along the way he still lost out on the BDOR race to C. Ronaldo (and even that season Messi was better than both Ribery and Ronaldo).

    My point is this, if the UCL was a reason for CR to win the best player award/BDOR in 2017, then why didn’t Ribery win in 2013? The whole voting process is a farce because they extended the voting period in 2013 just to factor in Portugal vs Sweden UEFA 2014 world cup playoff games which turnout to benefit CR over Messi and Ribery despite Ribery winning both the UCL and Bundes Liga title and Messi winning the La Liga title for the 2012/2013 season. So if the 2014 UEFA world cup playoff game between Portugal and Sweden could sway votes in CR favor, then why wasn’t it the same for Messi after his hat trick performance against Ecuador at altitude? So how does this make sense, is FIFA really picking the best player, or are they picking the guy who pose the most for magazine covers?

    Even a blind person could see that Ronaldo was not even the best player for Real Madrid in 2017; guys like Marcelo, Isco and Modric were far better than Ronaldo in the last campaign. The constant campaigning and PR stunt by both Real Madrid F.C. and CR is so obvious when it comes to the BDOR, it’s like they’re obsessed with these individual awards. Even among Ronaldo family they have been obsessed with Messi and the BDOR continuously over the years. You never hear the commentators during a game calling Ronaldo the best player, all they say is that he is one of the game ‘’greats” or he is a ”great goal scorer’’, but on the contrary; listen to what the commentators are saying when Messi is playing; it’s either, ‘’Messi is the best I have ever seen’’ or ‘’Messi is the greatest to ever play the game.’’ Messi doesn’t need the BDOR because he has nothing to prove other than winning the world cup. Messi and his family and friends are not obsessed over the ‘’Best player’’ award compare to the other guy. There was a picture on social media circulating with CR son gazing at Messi while they were sitting down at the ”best player” ceremony and the look on that kid face tells it all, even CR son knows Messi is the best. Anyways, I never watch these wannabe Grammy award shows for football players. Why is football so Hollywood nowadays?

    Messi like last season is on his won at Barcelona, he has no help whatsoever. Suarez is already over the hill at Barcelona, the guy who need ten chances to score one goal while missing empty net along the way. I just feel it for Messi at Barcelona, the guy loves his club but he has no support from the Barcelona board. Players like Gomes, Alcacer, Rakitic, and Paulinho would not even make a Pep Guardiola Barcelona reserve side, these guys should’ve never been playing for Barcelona if the idea was to help Messi and Barcelona win titles. Now Messi will have to carry this mediocre Barcelona team (with the exception of few players) on his shoulder right into a world cup year which is not a good sign for Argentina in the long run.

    Barcelona next best player is Iniesta and he can’t even complete a full season nowadays which put even more pressure on Messi to show up in every single game going forward into the current season. Messi right now should just focus on the world cup and La Liga because no way Barcelona is going to win the UCL with the current team they have. No team is going to win the UCL with players like Deulofeu and Denis Suarez in their starting eleven just like how Argentina won’t win the world cup with some players being mention here from nowhere land. Real Madrid swap experience players like Pepe (who was their best defender), Morata and James (the two players who basically won the La Liga title for Real Madrid at the tail end of the 2016/2017 season) for young overrated inexperience players. This season we will really get to see if Zidane is a top notch coach now that he doesn’t have the likes of Pepe, James and Morata at his disposal.

    • I think Messi has more chances of winning BDOR with Argentina by winning WC than Barca with shitty players they have. Barca board completely destroyed this team and Messi has to carry a whole lot. Funny thing is Paulinho was considered bad purchase by barca but he is only seeming to be ok player in barca. Rakitic is turtle and this midfield will not win UCL. I really hope Messi win WC other wise RM pro FIFA will always give award to CR considering they get lot of funding from spanish gov. Messi should focus more on WC as this will ultimately put messi beyond any comparison and even 100 BDOR for CR will not top that(even though we already know Messi is clearly better).

    • I think in Champion League, Real Madrid has contract with UEFA that they will get easy call and as we all know, it has biggest weight in BDOR decider. Barca’s current president do not see eye to eye with UEFA, where as RM president is best friend of FIFA. Hence they will get easy calls, doubtful call always goes on RM favor and referee are pressured to favor RM(watch last year vs Bayern Munich). That is why RM are winning CL and even if CR stand like wood, they would give him that award regardless. I feel sorry for Messi and hopefully god will give his due. I hope god help Messi win WC; that way he can be the best. I believe on the world of today, people like Messi(who is quite and humble) are not appreciated. This is the era of Donald Trump, CR and other self righetous people. If there is fair in eye of god, he will give Messi WC. That is my two cents opinion.

    • “Now look at this from Messi, he leaves one for dead, he leaves two… Takes on three…. Takes on four….. Beats the goalkeeper…… You’re just lost for words, he is just brilliant….
      Georgie Best, Diego Maradona, Yohan Cruyff, they’re all getting out shown by this incredible little man….”

      One of the best Commentary ever about Messi, We wont hear something about any other player who is playing Football in this generation, That’s it. I wont even say another players name Let alone that Ego Maniac Fool who himself should be lucky that his name is even described by some ignorant fools who don’t know anything about Football.

      Messi don’t need to World Cup to prove anything, He is like an Institution who the up coming generation will refer to. Messi is already the Best Ever with or without World Cup.

      But We Argentina Need a World Cup with Messi or without Messi doesn’t Matter. Because we are ARGENTINA.

  3. messi dont need this award to be the best player in the world … the world knows very well… he need world cup… to shut the WHO IS THE GOAT….. no one wants messi win every year… it proved in 2013 when ronaldo won nothing… ribery won champions league messi played injured still better than ronaldo… award went to ronaldo… 2014 neyer won world cup… ronaldo got the award… this year he lost in the semifinal with portugal… mordric and kross deserved more than ronaldo.. isco too… he got the award…. one thing i want from messi.. no ballodr no fifa best player…. one thing. all i wanted is the WORLD CUP…to shut all mouth… thats is enough….

    • It is kind of insane that everyone think he is best, or even best every but they keep giving awards to this guy. I guess when history look back at Messi Vs. Ronaldo, Messi will be clearly rated higher than Ronaldo. However currently, due to media, hype and marketing, people force CR into conversation. I dont think even CR thinks he is better than Messi. Messi is better than him in every aspect, literally every aspect(offcourse not on height due to small stature). Messi is like Critically accmailed movie masterpiece which will be appreciated over the years where as CR is summer blockbuster who will gain contemporary advantages but will be forgotten over the years.

      I think if Messi win the WC, he will be the best ever since he will literally smash Ronaldo’s goal records, assists which is the main arguments from his fans.

    • it no longer about who is the best and here is a good write up from some one

      “Cristiano Ronaldo won the Best FIFA Men’s Player award on Monday, earning one of world football’s most prestigious individual prizes after an incredible 2016-17 season.

      Ronaldo’s prowess in front of goal helped Madrid to FIFA Club World Cup, LaLiga and Champions League glory last season.
      But do the stats back up his reaffirmed status as the world’s best player?
      With the help of Opta data, we compare his 2016-17 numbers with those of the men he beat to the award, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and his former team-mate Neymar, who left Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222million move in August, to find out.
      52 – It was Messi who was the top scorer of the trio last term, with his 54 superior to the 42 netted by Ronaldo and well ahead of Neymar’s 20.
      82.44 – Messi also had the best minutes per goal ratio of the three, scoring every 82.44 minutes.
      21 – However, it is Neymar who had the most assists in 2016-17, supplying 21 goals for team-mates. Messi is second with 16, while Ronaldo was the last productive provider, registering just 11 assists.
      375 – Ronaldo’s minutes per assist ratio was by far the worst of the three. He only laid on a goal every 375 minutes. Messi was second with an assist every 278.25 minutes but still trailed Neymar’s tally of one every 189.10 minutes.
      So were FIFA right to hand the award to Ronaldo? Despite his contributions to a trophy-laded campaign, the data suggests the gong should have gone to Messi.
      Though Neymar trumps him in assists and assists per goal, Messi finished no lower than second in any category and was directly involved in 70 goals, comfortably more than Ronaldo (53) and Neymar (41).
      After such an impressive year, you could forgive the diminutive Argentina superstar for feeling a little aggrieved.

    • Why do they call it FIFA award. I watched it and it was more like European award. All they talk about and showed European football. Only non-European was that host from Brazil. Someone said here earlier i remember that European doesn’t want Messi or Argentina to success in next summer or any summer

        • Jus bcos we love messi, we don’t need to hate Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s recent awards will bring the best out of messi which hopefully will culminate in world cup being ours this time. Barcelona will chase la Liga strongly & messi won’t get rest. Hope Barca lose out on champions league early so that messi walks into world cup with decent rest

  4. There is one player who is a Mystery is EVER BANEGA. Really have no idea why he is not consistent, There were was even a Photo surfacing he partying before our Do or Die WC Qualifiers against Equador (Well nothing wrong in releasing Stress), But what happens to him when he plays for us, even in crutial games too he plays badly. Is it the System, His best match for us was at copa 2016 against USA. where there was Masche(True Defencive Destroyer) – Augusto(A ferocious Box to Box Player) – Banega(He was the Attacking Midfielder).Lavezzi & Lamela was there too. It was 4-3-3.

    Why is he so inconsistent, The funny thing is Sampaoli like him (He has said it before , 3rd Favorite player after Messi & Di Maria(May be it has changed after last match) Recently Xavi said good things about him. The point is Sampaoli sees something in him also same goes to Di Maria, Whatever most of the fans say bad about some of these players the coaches still selects these 2 most of times. So there should be something in these players. Definitely.The Coaches are better analysts than all of us here. If Banega was consistent our biggest headache (Which is Midfield) would have been sorted easily.

    Even i like Banega (I Generally likes Midfielders the most in Football). But recently he has lost the trust, Who will replace him who will Sampa choose. That will be very crucial to our WC hopes.I somehow feels Enzo – Biglia Combo is far Defensive. Its effective but far defensive. It was a temporary Solution for a Do or Die Match especially Equador was not a Defensive team may be thats why it clicked.

    Lanzini, Nacho, Paredes, Pastore(He has to start performing to get into the WC 23 list)Pablo Perez, Belluschi(I like this guy but not even in probable line up) Most of these players haven’t played for us, How can we know something is good or Bad till we haven’t tested it?There is not too many matches too left to test.

    • Never promoted here Belluschi and thought that’s waste of time when Bauza called him up but now I must to say he plays currently like real maestro. Like little Iniesta of local league. I think perhaps more creative than Banega.

      • Agreed Gonzalo, Belluschi has been a monster for San-Lo and to be honest Pablo Perez has also been fantastic for Boca and both are performing like true box to box players.
        Now just because a player does well in the primera doesn’t mean that they’ll do well for the NT but I think they both should be given a chance regardless of their age.

        Something has occurred to me yesterday, Nach, Enzo and pity are all worthy of trails for the NT and the 3 of them might make a good midfield in addition to the fact that they play on the same team and now eachother even though they hardly played together for river this season aside from copa lib


        you can swap pity for Enzo and visa versa cos they both played RM at various stages and did well. In all honesty this might make a fine midfield if tried.

        • Partnership is Vital for a team like us, I dont think Sampaoli will make a huge changes in Midfield before WC , Unless somebody performs that good. Belluschi(This guy is every where, He had a beautiful Chip goal from around half way line 2 weeks back i guess) & Pablo Perez in absence of Gago has become vital, But how can a new player form a chemistry with the Messi’s, Dimarias etc etc.Will get a better picture after the next 2 friendlies.

          • Nacho and Pity already have scored many impressive games together with great chemistry. Now there’s third so much creative player of River – Enzo. And they are playing all in midfield. A great starting point to see them together for NT in some domestic squads as far as I see it hard to see Pity called up before WC (after WC that’s rather matter of time). Add Belluschi, Pablo Perez, Pavon, Benedetto, Gaston Gimenez, Bustos, Gomez, Tagliafico, Barboza…

        • The player that Belluschi is most similar for me is Iniesta (toutes proportions gardées). The same enjoing flowing style.

          “Now just because a player does well in the primera doesn’t mean that they’ll do well for the NT but I think they both should be given a chance regardless of their age” – that’s true.

          Generally whole San Lorenzo team is worth scanning. There’s many former NT players and perhaps few future players as well). They didn’t made semifinal of CL but only luck the reason. I think River, Gremio and San Lorenzo – 3 best teams of this eddition of CL. Lanus had more luck than SL, that’s all.

          • I think Nacho is preferred by Sampaoli he has been selected almost all the times, Nacho & Enzo Partnership in Middle can be utilized too. Nacho looks similar to Di Maria in structure very lean, Every time i watch him playing i think he is almost going to Fall, That much lean.

            I m not sure whether Pity would make it before WC, There is already Messi & Dybala who plays in similar position. But he is young, only 24 years so he will get his chance soon, Probably after WC.

          • Agree, Nacho very similar to Di Maria. Devise of his football you may concise express by “pass and run, always ahead”.

            Pity prefers a bit more left wing.

          • I just think when watching some of our Left footed Midfield players, Nacho, Lo Celso, Pity, Dybala, Colambatto(More defensive) Almost all of them plays where Messi is playing for us, Is it because Messi is dropping so deep. Its exact same place where all the above mentioned players are playing (All are cutting inside from Right side of the pitch, I May be wrong.

            But some players even Left footed plays different Lamela used to play where Messi is playing but he has adapted to another positions too. DI Maria, Perotti, Acuna are left footed players but they r playing in other side of the pitch mostly on Left side.

            I think we need more Right footed Midfield players & Wingers, Only few names are proven, Lavezzi was gud, Salvio is okey i guess not convincing, Bustos looks promising, Gomez was also promising. but its like that , Lanzini looks great, Pereyra, Paredes is one player who i have high hopes. etc etc..I feel like Most of the young players in Argentina wants to be like Messi, Just like before most wanted to be Maradona, Nothing wrong in that but not every one can be Maradona or Messi we need more Aimars & Riquelmes & Lucho Gonzalezs, Ortegas..Is my assumption right.

  5. As previously said Rojo & Mori would have been definitely played under Sampa, both are reasonably young & fast, which will definitely help Sampa’s playing style. Well lets see how those 2 will recover. Till then i think Our Defencive line will be Merchado – Masche/Fazio – Otamendi. There is 8 months but only around 4 Friendlies, The real time Sampa will get is the 3 Weeks prior to WC. But its too late he should have the players selected by that, So he only have around 4 matches to test players.

    • If they recover and gets time and fitness that probably them three will be our CB in 3 men defence. Good combination of hight and agressive and pace plus experience

    • Rojo is near to getting back. mostly by November 1st week he is back & hence has a great chance to regain match form & make it to team . Funes Mori mostly will miss out. So its gonna be Mercado , Fazio, Pezella , Masherano to pair with Otamendi .

      • I saw photos of Rojo taking part in Man Utd training. He is expected to come back in action soon, but he will face a fierce competition to get his spot in the lineup. He got injured when Mou trusted him and was at the peak of his United career. Funes Mori is also expected to return by late Dec. or early Jan.

  6. Why Garay quit national team?
    Is there any chance of his return? Like Messi
    With Garay and Rojo as CBs and Otamendi and Acuna as fullbacks our defensive line would be great.
    Then we can move Mascherano to midfield as DM and Biglia as substitute.

  7. apparently this is the squad vs Nigeria
    Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero, Nahuel Guzman, Agustín Marchesin.
    Defenders: Gabriel Mercado, Federico Fazio, Javier Mascherano, German Pezzella, Nicolas Otamendi.

    Midfielders: Eduardo Salvio, Emiliano Rigoni, Lucas Biglia, Leandro Paredes, Matias Kranevitter, Ever Banega, Marcos Acuna, Alejandro Gomez, Diego Perotti

    Forwards: Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di María, Mauro Icardi

  8. 1) Garay – since he wants to move on from NT
    2) Mussachio – not preferred for seleccion
    3) Fazio – not an automatic starter
    4) Mammana – dropped for crucial friendlies

    Our CBs for the world cup roster most probably will be Otamandi, Mascherano, Mori and Rojo along with Mercado.
    As everyone here, would have loved to see Garay and Otamandi pair but we Argentines never get pairing right ain?
    Messi&Dybala (praying that they gel well and click for the most important cup).
    Still wondering what made Garay take such a decision? Is it something to do with Masche mafia or…

    • Regarding E Garay they turned their back toward him from playing for the national team because he refused to play a crucial World Cup qualifier game between Argentina vs Brazil to come to Texas U.S. for assisting his new born child so since then any coach doesn’t call him.

  9. I just analysed lo celso, and boy i was impressed. The passing, the vision, the creativity is all there.
    Most importantly what impressed me the most was his confidence on the ball.
    Considering he plays at psg with a team full of superstars he manages to play his natural game whenever given chance, he is not just looking to pass the ball to neymar or cavani, which is what happens with us every body gives it to messi and expects magic.

  10. Acuna scored 2 goals last night. He seems like an indispensable member of their lineup ever since he signed up. I think he’s the best attacking wingback that we have at our disposal. Needs a lil brushing up with his defensive qualities and positioning though but no worries cause he’s a hard worker hence will eventually do well. The energy level of Acuna and Di Maria on the left would be a menace for any world class defence.

  11. If City received proper bid and other circumstances helped, Guardiola would’ve sold both Otamendi and Aguero. Neither of them were Guardiola’s favorite. But credit to them for not giving up and forcing their way into the starting eleven. Otamendi has improved immensely. Guardiola is still pushing Aguero for more. Their experience in playing in 3-4-3 and 2-5-3 formations will be a huge bonus for us. A lot of things clicking at the right time. Hopefully this WC will be ours.

    • Neither of them was in Guardiola’s plans, but they showed consistency, patience, and hunger for success. Otamendi was even great before joining City and he was named La Liga best defender in 2014/15 season. I like (as many other Mundo members do) to see Garay alongside Otamendi at the WC.

        • Garay doesnt want to return to the NT. Sampaoli wanted him asap even prior the recent WCQ but apparently he didnt succeed in convincing him…

          • I think he was overlooked by the previous coaches and he got disapointed. That could be the biggest reason he put the National Team duties aside. Sampa can convince him to return if he shows him he is part and parcel of the team and his experience can contribute a lot to the team. Who doesn’t want to play in Messi era for the National Team? Nobody really!

  12. People say we don’t have World Class CB and our defence shit. We have 3 more Class CB. But we need to test out full back. I always support team and Sampaoli but i feel zero confidence in 3 men defence. In these 8 months Sampaoli basically has to get 3 jobs done
    1)Find fullbacks which we missing since Sorin and Zanetti days.
    2)Find some solid midfield players for team. Who is hardworker,Smart too and most importantly a team player.
    3) Finally Find a balance XI and input his philosophy and idea so they can play like that. Use those upcoming 7 friendly to gel them together.
    3 men defence is tempting for nice attacking football but it would be vulnerable against a good team who can use flank well. Knowing Sampaoli he likes to changes his tactics and plan for team which is a hope unlike our last two coaches. And this make Sampaoli little bit better than Bielsa. Bielsa wouldn’t change his method or tactics doesn’t matter what and that still haunt us. Ghost of 2002 world cup

  13. Otamendi is one of the few goal scoring Defenders we have, He is strong in Air especially when we have corners, As pep confirmed above.This guy have come a long way since the 2010 WC Debacle.Mentally strong.

    It could have been great to see. Mori & Rojo too under Sampaoli, Unfortunately injuries hampered both.Both can operate on the Left side of defense too.

    • Otamendi is very solid and he is our best defender right now and one of the best defenders of football world for the time being. But one of the biggest problems of the team is not taking advantage of set-pieces by our defenders (esp. Ota since he is very good in the air). I think the last goal from set-piece scored by a defender for Argentina was scored by Otamendi in the 2-2 game against Peru. Everybody knows how many times Ramos saved Real with a header goal from set-piece and also Atleti defenders are very good at that as well. When our strikers are having a hard time infront of goal there must be someone from our defence who can step up and score a goal for us. I think Fazio scored a few header goals for Roma last season, but he will not be a starter if Sampa selects him for the WC.

  14. In terms of overall defensive qualities, he may be the best in the world right now. A beast at the back ! Just wish Garay was with us right now 🙁

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