Japan boss Eddie Jones has turned to Bayern Munich Football Club manager Pep Guardiola to help him improve the Brave Blossoms’ fortunes.
Jones is determined to help Japan win their first match at the World Cup in 24 years in England next year and in an effort to improve his side’s tactics and planning, he spent time with Guardiola, who he described as the “best soccer coach in the world.”
“The main thing we learned this year was that we have to be tactically more flexible,” he told Sky Sports.
“We need to react to situations on the field and make adjustments to the way we play.
“The soccer approach is called tactical periodisation, in which everything is done in preparation for the game and in order to be tactically aware.”
Before winning the German league title with Bayern Munich, in his first season, Guardiola also guided Barcelona to three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues.
Jones believes the two sports share many similarities.
“I watched Bayern train and had a really good meeting with the head coach and I really think we can improve greatly with adjustments in the way we train,” he added.
“He is the best soccer coach in the world and you always want to learn from the best.
“Rugby and soccer are very similar in that you always want to move the ball into space and Bayern Munich and his previous team Barcelona played the most fantastic passing game you have ever seen.
“The principles are exactly the same.
“The very best soccer teams vary their depth and formation in order to make the most of the space.
“So when you get the chance to learn from the best it’s a fantastic opportunity.”