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Everton's Arteta grateful for influence of Barcelona coach Guardiola

Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta has revealed how Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola influence his early career.

Arteta told The Times: "I learnt to pass at Barcelona, training with the first team, with players like [Pep] Guardiola, Rivaldo, Luis Enrique and [Luis] Figo. I was amazed. They never felt threatened or worried by this young lad who might replace them; they were trying to help me all the time. They would correct me on technique, keep talking to me and giving me confidence, even praising me to the manager and press.

"I remember the first time I played for the first team, against Hertha Berlin in pre-season, I was 16. I replaced Guardiola at half-time and after the game he sat with me and talked through everything that I had done out on the pitch. To have that from someone like him, the best in that position, you cannot have anyone better than that helping you."

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