"The rondo encloses a philosophy of football", talk between Amor and Bakero about the style of Barça
Here is a Google Translated version of a really good article from the El Periodico website. Original Spanish link here The ex-players of the 'Dream Team', who are responsible for the Barca youth team, debate the legacy left by Cruyff.
José Mari Bakero and Guillermo Amor have contemplated the birth and implantation of the rondo as a sign of Barça's identity. Ex-pupils of Johan Cruyff and members of the original dream team in 1988, the now top managers of the quarry contemplate, 30 years later, the validity of the football idea that they began to practice. Bakero: The rondo represented for me the change of my way of understanding football. I came from the Royal Society, where we only did it as an entertainment, as a pachanga, and here the rondo was the first working tool of the time and the mentality of Johan. Amor: In the lower categories they were always done. And with Charly [Rexach] in the juveniles, you can imagine how many rondos we were doing. Every day. Those of the amateur told us: look at the juveniles, always with the ronditos. Bakero: In the initial stage, thanks to the rondos, we were able to play 20 or 25 minutes with an incomparable intensity, but when we did not have the ball we suffered much more than anyone. But by the characteristics of the players, of the team, not by physical condition. Amor: There are types of rondos depending on the day: the one after the game, recovery, to have some laughs if you won, or the previous match is to look for rhythm, spark, intensity ... When I was in Australia, I tried to dedicate a few minutes each day. Because what the player likes the most is to start training with the ball, with rhythm, with good vibes. Depending on the touch you give, in a rondo you work many things. "Johan and Charly knew what they were doing instinctively, but they were not aware of developing a metadology" (Bakero) Bakero: Even the shot on goal! Love: Sometimes there was a shot, but to the body [laughs], some rocks. Bakero: Johan and Charly knew what they were doing instinctively, but they were not aware of developing an applied methodology, which today can be explained and reasoned. Johan wanted rhythm of the ball and the round of the gave; I wanted concentration and the rondo gave it to you, speed of decision, quality of the pass ... They are concepts that later are transferred to the field. Amor: One thing is the rondo, which has been going on for many years, and from there we have gone to position games, which is not the same exercise. The game of position is added difficulties: more space, more opposition placing seven players against four, nine against five ... Bakero: The movement is important. In 80% of the teams, the players are stopped when giving the pass. The quality of the coach is to make you understand that when your action ends, another one immediately begins, which is to be prepared to receive the next pass. Amor: In a round you work everything: the body positioning, the use of two legs, the precision, the reading of the game, the mobility ... "There were the voices of the veterans, of the people of weight and the other of the young people, you only had to look at what Johan was" (Love) Bakero: I remember the rounds of the eve of Champions. You did not want to go in or out of your mouth. At 20 touches there was applause, and you wanted to humiliate the one who was inside, who burst with fatigue. And of course, inside defended with a brutal intensity to leave and if you were out, you were careful not to fail and enter. What concept does that contain? The competition. We wanted to give the 20 touches, which was like scoring a goal in a match. And a winning team when it marks the first one looks for the second, the third, fourth ... Amor: There were the rondos of the veterans, of the people of weight and the other of the young people. You just had to look at which one was Johan. Bakero: The rondo started with the young people inside. It's a way of recognizing a bit of seniority. Amor: The good thing about starting the rondo inside was that the people were cold and you cut the ball before; If you go downtown when others are hot, it was harder. "It was fun and you did it all with one idea: 'Play one more line, no corners, no!' Johan wanted you to see, and without looking, the companion who was further away "(Love). Bakero: In the end it's about mobility and competition. Requires, of course, technique, positioning, concentration ... You learn or you do not learn. Amor: Johan disputed the rondos, the partidillos ... And Charly also. "It was fun and you did it all with one idea: 'Play one more line, no corners, no!' Johan wanted you to see, and without looking, the companion who was further away "(Love). Bakero: In the end it's about mobility and competition. Requires, of course, technique, positioning, concentration ... You learn or you do not learn. Amor: Johan disputed the rondos, the partidillos ... And Charly also. Bakero: At first, Johan played everything. Until he had the heart What happens is that in the position games they were placed as wild, free, and never stopped. That's why they appeared smiling in the photos and we were angry. Amor: It was fun, and you did it all with an idea. "Play one more line," said Johan so we would not give the ball to the next one, but two or three beyond. "No corners, no corners," he demanded, to prevent the ball receiver from being cornered. Bakero: In the Champions League he asked us not to repeat the same pass twice. It had to be short, short and long, to break the pressure. It was an added difficulty: it forced you to think, which is important too. In the field the player decides: if you pass with the right or the left, to one partner or the other ... Amor: When asking for a line, I wanted you to see, without looking, the companion who was farther away. Bakero: All these concepts are now explained and that advances the training process. Before, the smarter learned it faster and another could cost more. Amor: There is not a book, but the truth is that it could be done. "The Dream Team was more positional and static, Barça de Guardiola was the opposite: liquid, with constant mobility" (Bakero) Bakero: In football you can copy others. Or you can copy meaningfully, trying to rectify and develop what you copy. There is the hand of the coach, in seeking improvement, progression. We won the European Cup the fourth year; the first two were very hard. Now we know why we did what we did and why we do what we do. The rondo contains a whole philosophy of football. Amor: One thing is a rondo, for example, in a bullring, with ten guys outside and two inside, and another doing it in half the space with six guys inside. Bakero: The rondo is the base, but it goes hand in hand with the selection of players and technicians. Why are the Barça players smaller? Because generally the most talented are shorter than physical. The dream team was very positional, static, with the triangles and the diamond clearly drawn, and Guardiola's team was the opposite: liquid, with constant mobility and the occupation of spaces. Amor: The idea is the same. The essence of the game remains. With nuances, but the philosophy is identical. Bakero: The quality of the players determines everything. More than systems, the important thing is to develop the concept, to make it evolve. Amor: Children, as soon as they arrive, they already do rondos. José Mari and I have gone abroad to train. They are not used. Here you work with children who have been playing position games since they were eight years old. After so much time, they do it by heart. Bakero: Johan and Charly changed the idea. Talented talent and quality to the physical. Look at the Spanish team. How was it called? The fury. Look at it now. It's nice to see her play. In reality, in Spanish football the culture of playing well has been installed, of going out with the ball controlled. There are very few patadón teams from behind. If you go to other countries, they still live in that model. Amor: The key is the base. The sub-16 of Spain plays like this. If you see the sub-19 or the sub-21, the same. Everything starts below. Quarry is working very well in this country. We do it well, very well, but there are other teams that do it well too. Bakero: The origin is in those years, without a doubt. I was a professional player since 1980 and the greatest evolution I've seen in football was in Johan's time. Look, I played with Real Sociedad a European Cup semifinal against Hamburg. They used a 4-4-2, with very long and powerful sides and Hrubesch, a giant of two meters that topped everything that fell in the area. Look now at what players Germany has, how Bayern plays, Borussia. That's why they took Pep there. Amor: England is going in that direction. He also wants to play football well. Holland always did it. It was for Barça as his mirror, as his idea. And now, however, it is the other way around. Barça is the mirror that you want to look at Holland, which has run out of European Championship and World Cup. "The rondo gives you touch and sensitivity, you measure space, time and speed, in fact, everything depends on your touch to give your partner an advantage" (Love) "The rondo gives you touch and sensitivity, you measure space, time and speed, in fact, everything depends on your touch to give your partner an advantage" (Love) Bakero: The problem in the Netherlands is that the players are leaving very soon. They pay 11 or 12 million euros for a young man and they take him away. That breaks the natural selection, destroys the path that young people must follow. It is not the same to study English with 6 or 7 years or as I start now. There is a huge difference to assimilate learning. In Poland there are teams that do not touch the ball until Thursday. From Monday to Thursday they do not touch the ball. And with a top trainer, eh ...! Amor: The rondo gives you touch. It is the most important thing for me. Touch and sensitivity when you hit the ball. Touch is primordial, essential. What strength do you give the ball at each moment so that it reaches the partner in an appropriate way? How do you do it? You measure space, time, speed. And that the rondo gives it to you. Why? Because you can not hit your partner with a stone. You must have sensitivity to give it stronger or slower. Actually, everything depends on your touch to give your partner an advantage. With the right, with the left, near, far ... The pass to the center always ahead to avoid a first control ... Let the ball arrive quickly ... Bakero: In that the teacher was Koeman. I have not seen anyone pass the ball with that precision to the space and the speed at which you arrived, because it was not the same as Txiki's, Guillermo's or Hristo's. Or mine. I put the ball three meters ahead, you had the feeling that I was waiting for you. I was able to visualize your speed and the time you needed. It is of a supernatural intelligence. Amor: But it's that Ronald had a ball hit ... What a hit! Bakero: He had a gift. I've always said that Ronald was the most important player. Many times we won because there were many good players. But if Ronald worked, the blackboard also. That was also the rondo, even if it was not seen.