Munich - Marcos Lopez is one of Spain’s most highly regarded football analysts. Holder of a full coaching badge, the 38-year-old former AS Roma sporting director currently works as an expert for the sports daily Marca, radio station COPE, Marca TV as well as private channels La Sexta and Antena 3.
You can read part 1 of the interview here
In the second part of an extended interview with bundesliga.com, Lopez discusses new Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara's family football gene, head coach Pep Guardiola's character and the fresh faces at Borussia Dortmund.
bundesliga.com: has moved to current Champions League holders FC Bayern Munich, who are now the team to beat on the main European stage. Can you see Bayern dominating an era ahead of their big rivals in Spain and England, as well as ambitious newcomers such as Paris Saint-Germain FC?
Marcos Lopez: FC Bayern have taken the right course of action, anyway. They've been in a few finals in recent years but once you've won the Champions League it's very difficult to stay up at that level. In Guardiola, Bayern have acquired a coach with huge passion and on top of that they've made a couple of top-class signings in Mario Götze and Thiago. I think by taking those steps, they've laid the foundations for a possible golden era.
bundesliga.com: You know Guardiola personally. He has a reputation for being pleasant and friendly but at the same time fairly reserved. How would you characterise him?
Lopez: Guardiola's passion personified, he lives and breathes football. At a personal level it's not easy to get close to him, but as far as professional relationships go I have to say, he's very correct and well-mannered. He's modest, and a good listener. An out-of-the-ordinary person, with great qualities.
bundesliga.com: You've already touched on Thiago's roots and the fact that he's the son of the great Mazinho . Does his style resemble his dad's in any way?
Lopez: Thiago's more athletic and dynamic, with just as good a technique. Mazinho was a tactically astute holding midfielder, good at reading the game. The third of the bunch, Thiago's brother Rafinha (currently on loan from Barcelona at Celta de Vigo, ed.), has a different style completely. So theoretically, they could all have played together in the same team.
bundesliga.com: Final question - Most pundits are reckoning with Borussia Dortmund as FC Bayern's main domestic rivals once again. What do you make of Dortmund's current squad, with their own new signings?
Lopez: Bayern have one major advantage over Dortmund, in that they've effectively got two teams. Bayern don't have a regular first-team, they have a supercharged squad. Dortmund's squad is very good, but they've lost their dark-horse quality. Signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a masterstroke from sporting director Michael Zorc. He's really going to stir things up in the offensive midfield department. For me, Mkhitaryan's more of a replacement for (Shinji) Kagawa than Götze. I think Sokratis is a very good man to have as an alternative, although I'd reckon with Dortmund having the same regular back-four as last season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's another great buy, and excellent value for money. He's got an incredible turn of pace and he fits right in with (coach) Jürgen Klopp philosophy.
Interview: Miguel Gutierrez