Ronald Koeman believes Pep Guardiola created the greatest ever Barcelona team during his four years as manager at the Camp Nou.
The pair, who will face each other in the Premier League when Everton travel to Manchester City on Saturday, were teammates at Barca.
As part of Johan Cruyff’s side that were known as the “Dream Team” Koeman and Guardiola won four La Liga titles and a European Cup in the early 1990s.
However, Koeman believes that Guardiola’s side that won three Spanish titles and two Champions Leagues was even better.
“When he was the manager at Barcelona, I saw the best Barcelona team ever in every aspect of football,” he told a news conference.
“Of course, the standard in Barcelona was, and always is, high. But he made it 200 percent [higher] in every aspect of football and I know the people form Holland they really enjoyed watching Barcelona and Bayern Munich because it’s a different way of football.
“We like football and we like to see a team who plays attractive football. We like to see a team that dominates and sometimes it’s risky what they try to do.
“That’s football that I like and, of course, everything is about winning, in the weekend. But that’s the most difficult way he’s doing it as a manager and finally if you win titles then chapeau [good job]!”
Koeman has been impressed by the impact that Guardiola has already had at the Etihad, winning his first 10 games in charge.
But City were held by Scottish champions Celtic in the Champions League and then lost to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and the Dutchman believes their high-pressing games are a blueprint on how to cause problems to Guardiola side.
“[City have been] very good, maybe not the last week before the international break but they’re impressive how they play football,” Koeman said.
“I watched City against Gladbach in the Champions League at home live and it’s very good to see the difference between the way [they] play this season and how they played last season and that’s difficult for defending.
“But we had some good examples of other teams who got a good result against City.”
Koeman confirmed that Romelu Lukaku, Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka are available for the game at the weekend but Aaron Lennon and James McCarthy are doubts.
Meanwhile, England defender John Stones is likely to line up against Everton for the first time since his £47.5 million move to the Etihad in the summer and Koeman believes he is a good fit for Guardiola.
“He’s part of the philosophy of the coach because one of the good qualities of John Stones is that he’s that player from the back that can open the game, that can do that passing from the back because he’s comfortable on the ball,” he added.
“Sometimes it’s difficult because they are defending with a lot of space behind them at the back if we can break that and do what we do like to do then we can be successful and make it difficult.”