Pep only works with the players that understand his football philosophy

Pep only works with the players that understand his football philosophy

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17 Apr 2022
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Pep Guardiola

The modern history of La Pausa began in Argentina. Maradona’s partner in the national team explained all its subtleties

Tactical guru Jonathan Wilson credits Argentine Ricardo Bochini as the discoverer of La Pausa. Despite the strange style (in Argentina he was called “a clumsy dwarf who has neither punch nor charisma”), Bochini highly appreciated Diego Maradona. Before the 1986 World Cup, Diego even demanded to invite Bochini to the team (Ricardo did not get into the application either in 1978 or in 1982).  Eight years ago, Wilson interviewed Bochini for Angels With Dirty Faces, which has become a guide to the history of Argentine football. Then Ricardo explained that behind the “pause” is an extraordinary football intelligence, “the ability to visualize and anticipate the behavior of other players.” Wilson linked this to an observation by the American evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould. According to him, most top-level athletes perform such fast computational processes that they could succeed in almost any other area. Bochini himself divides the “pause” into two types. The first is when the ball carrier really does not move and only waits for the partner to open. The second is when the player has to move with the ball. But in both cases, the goal is the same – to wait until the partner takes the best position, and give him the pass.

Explanation from Bochini: “Sometimes you have to move quickly with the ball to wait for a partner to get into position. This happened, for example, in a match with the Paraguayan Olimpia. Alejandro Barberon gave me the ball and immediately began to accelerate forward. I also had to advance, but at the same time I waited until it was open. If I had remained in place, without moving, I would not have been able to assist him. In the end, I waited until he opened, returned the ball to him, and he already gave an assist. 

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