In a new book profiling the work of current Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, journalist Marti Perarnau reveals the ex-Barcelona boss’ true feelings about the ‘tiki-taka’ term – the style of football played by his Catalan giant side.
When Bayern played Nurnberg in the German Bundesliga, in what was a bat-tempered Munich derby, the Guardiola’s players apparently wanted to please the Spanish boss by making sure they passed the ball in the first half, which made Guardiola remark: “I loathe all that passing for the sake of it, all that tiki-taka. It’s so much rubbish and has no purpose. You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition’s goal. It’s not about passing for the sake of it.”
On the following day, he expanded this message in a meeting with his players: “Be yourselves. You need to dig into your own DNA. I hate tiki-taka. Tiki-taka means passing the ball for the sake of it, with no clear intention. And it’s pointless.”
“Don’t believe what people say. Barça didn’t do tiki-taka! It’s completely made up! Don’t believe a word of it! In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope. You overload on one side and draw them in so that they leave the other side weak.”
“And when we’ve done all that, we attack and score from the other side. That’s why you have to pass the ball, but only if you’re doing it with a clear intention. It’s only to overload the opponent, to draw them in and then to hit them with the sucker punch. That’s what our game needs to be. Nothing to do with tiki-taka.”