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Douglas Costa loves Pep Guardiola but rules out following him to Manchester City

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Douglas Costa did not mince words when praising his former coach Pep Guardiola, but neither he nor any of his teammates will be following Guardiola to Manchester City, thanks to a clause in Guardiola's contract.

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While recovering from his adductor injury in Porto Alegre, Douglas Costa gave an exclusive interview to Globo Esporte. Costa reflected on his experience with Pep Guardiola in what he regards as "the best year of my career." He credits Guardiola and his teammates at Bayern Munich for helping him grow as a player. Costa considers both "the best I ever had."

Costa reserved special praise for Guardiola himself:

He's a guy who has something more, changes everything from the ground up, who has a tactical orientation that other people can't grasp. [...] I believe that Pep is a guy who tops them all. There is no comparison with any Brazilian. I think if you combined all the Brazilian coaches, you'd get one Pep.

Costa credited Guardiola in particular with helping him transform into a more aggressive attacking player and teaching him to read and understand what his teammates were doing on the pitch.

When asked whether he regretted missing the Copa America or failing to win the Champions League with Guardiola, Costa had much more to say about the latter. Winning the Champions League with Guardiola is clearly something that Costa wanted to accomplish out of gratitude for his coach:

We came very close - to winning the Champions League. But that's part of soccer. It has its injustices. It happens. When Pep left, I told him that we failed him in part because we did not give him that present. Me, personally, because he brought me from Shaktar.

Costa acknowledged that he has not yet had contact with Ancelotti - "out of respect, [since] Pep was in charge" - but even though Guardiola has now departed for City, neither he nor any of his teammates will follow Guardiola abroad. As Costa revealed,

There's something in his contract, a clause to the effect that he can't take anyone from Bayern. I've reached a situation in which I can live with the club for a long time. [Bayern] cultivates the philosophy of staying with players for a long time. I'm happy to have a long career at Bayern ahead of me.

Fans of Bayern Munich may thus rest assured that Pep Guardiola will not lure any of his former stars to the Etihad. While the front office might have preferred not to reveal the contractual mechanisms that help it retain key players, Bayern Munich has repeatedly demonstrated its determination to stay in control of its squad and keep core players at the club, despite fierce financial pressure from European rivals and the English Premier League in particular. Douglas Costa is in no hurry to leave.