'Why do you say that? Jose Mourinho was only an assistant' - Joe Brolly on why Jim McGuinness could manage Barcelona
Joe Brolly has paid the ultimate compliment to Jim McGuinness as the former Donegal manager embarks on a career in China.
McGuinness left his backroom role at Celtic to become assistant manager to former Bayern Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt at Beijing Sinobo Guoan.
He signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with a club that won the league in 2009 but have been on the look-out for a new boss since showing Spaniard Jose Gonzalez the door. They sit seventh in the table.
Speaking on this week's episode of Independent.ie's GAA podcast The Throw In, Brolly had huge praise for McGuinness, insisting that he could end up managing Barcelona one day.
"I wrote before that I have no doubt he will be the manager of Barcelona some day because he is an extraordinary person to meet. Have you ever net him?
"He is the sort of person when you meet him you come away feeling inadequate.
"He is very charismatic, he is a brilliant communicator and he also does something that most people find very difficult to do...he thinks. I mean he thinks. It's this sort of idea of Sherlock Holmes saying 'leave me alone, I am going into this room to think'.
"Jim does that. There is not a lazy bone in his body. You can tell because the conclusions that he reaches are always very logical and also fascinating.
"It's a mark of the guy that after meeting him for two hours in an airport the Beijing manager, after follow-up emails and conversations over the phone that he was confident enough to offer him such a big job, because that's a huge team in China, the Beijing team.
"I have no doubt that he is going to get to the top of the tree in soccer."
When The Throw In host Will Slattery suggested "coaching Barcelona is a bit of s stretch", Brolly hit back. "Why do you say that? Jose Mourinho was an assistant and didn't even play at a high level. Jim, wherever he goes, is going to take people's breaths away."
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