Guardiola defends Vidal after Beckenbauer criticism

AFP , Friday 18 Sep 2015

Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal participates in a team training session in Santiago (Photo: Reuters)

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola threw his support behind midfielder Arturo Vidal on Friday after the Chile international was criticised by club legend Franz Beckenbauer.

"I don't agree with Mr. Beckenbauer. I'm very satisfied with Arturo, he will be a very important player this season, said Guardiola, ahead of Saturday's trip to Darmstadt in the Bundesliga.

Beckenbauer had bemoaned the "lack of mobility" displayed by Vidal following Wednesday's 3-0 victory away to Olympiakos in the Champions League.

"It's not what we expected from him. He can certainly play better," complained Beckenbauer.

"You can make bad passes and lose out in challenges but you have to give it your all," he added.

A clearly irritated Guardiola retorted that he would not rely on numbers to refute the claims made by Beckenbauer, a five-time Bundesliga winner with Bayern as a player and coach.

"The statistics don't interest me," said Guardiola, preferring to talk about the uncertainty surrounding Vidal, Robert Lewandowski and Xabi Alonso after the trio picked up knocks in Greece midweek.

"They're not serious injuries but I don't know if they'll be able to play," added the Spaniard.

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