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Pep Guardiola on Philipp Lahm: “One of the best players I’ve ever seen”

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The former Bayern manager was effusive in his praise for his former captain.

FC Bayern Audi China Summer Tour 2015 - Press Conference Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

“Philipp was and is a special person in my life. It’s not easy for a Catalan guy to go to Germany after a triple and start to learn German and get involved in that culture, and he helped me a lot on and off the pitch.

“He’s one of the most fantastic players I’ve ever trained in my life. Even talking about the most intelligent players, he is one of them. Football is going to miss one of the best players I’ve ever seen. He can play in ten positions with no problems, because he understands the game perfectly.

“I know when I come back to Munich to see my friends, he will be there, and that is the most precious gift one trainer can have. It was a huge honor for me to be his manager.

“I’m a little bit sad, because I think deep in my heart that he still has football in his legs to play. But maybe not in his head, and that’s why he’s retiring. I wish him and his beautiful wife and son, of course, the best in the future.

“Hopefully, as soon as possible, he can be involved in football, because that guy is so necessary for football. He’s polite... exceptional person and exceptional player. It was a real pleasure.”