Arrigo Sacchi is regularly at the tables of Perla Verde in the seaside resort of Milano Marittima on the Italian Adriatic coast.
It is here that Sacchi has launched his book and celebrates birthdays and often meets ambitious coaches who travel in hopes of grasping the brain and exchanging ideas with grilled shrimp and an octopus salad.
So it did not go unnoticed when the legend of the Italian coaching returned in June with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri, recently deposed in Naples, a month after being confirmed as the new Chelsea manager.
The former manager Arrigo Sacchi revolutionized football with AC Milan between 1987 and 1991
"We are very similar," Sacchi agreed, as he said Sportsmail of the trio's relationship on the eve of the City's journey to Stamford Bridge. "We all think that in football there are values: emotions, performance, combination, musicality, harmony, courage, ideas, innovation.
"I admire all the coaches who try to impose their game because I believe you can gain more knowledge by doing what you are weakening the game. Being optimistic helps to increase self-esteem and leads to a higher culture.
"Being optimistic means not being afraid of the future and not being afraid of emotions, it means trying to renew it even when the team wins.In football we said" If it is not broken, do not fix it ", but it is not really correct.
Listen to Sacchi and you can hear Guardiola. In Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola proved to be an expert in turning samples into multiple champions. At Barca, he took his success in the Champions League. In Manchester City, he's trying to do it again.
"I can not see in the future," he responded with a shrug when Sacchi was asked about the city's ambition in Europe. "If the city was an orchestra, I would listen carefully, they play with harmony, the right rhythm and the correct movements, and there is no experience to win the Champions League.
& # 39; To improve you must take a risk. It is the basis of every adventure. It must evolve and innovate. When this road is not followed, it remains linked to the past. "
Sacchi with his disciples, Maurizio Sarri and Pep Guardiola of Manchester City
The 72 year old feels strong ties with Guardiola and Sarri. Like Sarri, a banker, he did not have a career as a professional player. Sacchi was a shoe salesman who had worked for Parma in Serie B when his elegant football attracted the attention of Silvio Berlusconi when he beat Milan in the Italian Cup.
As Guardiola, who was unexpectedly snatched by Joan Laporta of Barcelona B ten years ago, his experience was questioned when he was put under the control of one of the most prestigious teams in Europe because the club president was fallen for his football philosophy.
"Maurizio is doing a great job at Chelsea, & # 39; Sacchi said. "It's a big loss and it's a shame for Italian football, where most coaches rely heavily on their managerial skills, tactics and individual qualities to remedy the collective poverty of ideas.
This does not help to increase the level of the game that remains the same. So who has the best players wins. & # 39;
Listen to Sacchi and you can hear Guardiola, the 72-year-old feels in touch with the Man City boss
Sacchi met Sarri's football for the first time at Empoli in Serie B, when he was looking for young Italian players for youth teams.
"I was amazed by the football played by Empoli & # 39 ;, he said. "So I sent two national youth coaches, Alberigo Evani and Luigi di Biagio, to follow the training sessions of Sarri. I met him and I followed him in Serie A, and I suggested (the CEO) Adriano Galliani to take him to Milan, but Berlusconi did not take it and it was a big mistake .
"People like Sarri are coaches to save money. They also make you earn money because they believe more in their ideas than in the feet of the players. "
Sacchi has defined the Naples of Sarri as a "masterpiece" and is sure to be able to produce something similar to London.
"I see you're wanting to follow him," he said, claiming Chelsea manager's confidence in Jorginho as the deepest midfielder despite the theory that reduces the influence of N & # 39; Golo Kante.
Sacchi has defined the Naples of Sarri as a "masterpiece" and is sure to be able to produce it in London
"Kante is a great player; extraordinary in its generosity, for the number of times it steals the ball, but when it comes to building the game, it is not as bright as Jorginho.
"Jorginho's talent has increased with practice – he's a normal player or maybe even less than normal for a team based on individuality, physical strength or technical skill, but it's great for a team with a & # 39; idea of the game. "
His critical eye extends to Eden Hazard, another diamond of Chelsea prosperous under Sarri and long coveted by Real Madrid.
"Hazard is a champion," said Sacchi. "He has strength, technical quality and speed, but he does not always take advantage of the team's synergy, he can improve.
"It does not play for the team and the team at all times. He has been free to play as he wishes and can require great efforts to change. Generally those who are used to playing alone play alone and do not take advantage of the synergy. "
His critical eye extends to Eden Hazard, another diamond of Chelsea thriving under the head Sarri
While Sacchi welcomes the adventure of Sarri and Guardiola refuses to join the clamor to cancel Jose Mourinho despite another difficult campaign at Manchester United.
"Mourinho, Sarri and Guardiola are all three great coaches but they are different," he said. "When Mourinho does not win, people start saying he has an old-fashioned style, but it's not true.
"He's a coach who prefers the outcome to the game, but it's fantastic: a great leader, very good tactically, an extraordinary character as a whole, the others are more like teachers."
As for Zinedine Zidane, the first coach to defend the Champions League from Sacchi's Milan – when he won three in a row with Real Madrid – said: "Zidane was fantastic – an intelligent coach, who had no particular ideas, but he managed to manage a group of great champions and had a great community behind him ".
Sacchi refuses to join in clamor to obliterate Jose Mourinho despite another difficult campaign
The Milan of Sacchi was one of the most beautiful teams of all time, with the Dutch stars Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard and the famous quarter of Mauro Tassotti, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Paolo Maldini.
In his four years, they won the Italian title in 1988 and the European Cup in 1989 and 1990 and freed Italian football from its reputation as a severe and defensive football with a fluid and aggressive style of play.
Sacchi left the San Siro for work in Italy and took the Azzurri to the World Cup final before returning to Serie A with a symmetrical success for the second spells in both Milan and Parma. He also worked in Madrid as Director of Atletico and Football Director at Real.
"In my next life I would like to train in England," he smiled, and recalled an exploration mission to Euro 88, at the behest of Berlusconi, to decide whether to sign Gary Lineker from Barcelona or trust the return of Van Basten from the ankle injury that it cost him most of his first year in Italy.
AC Milan (from left to right) Marco van Basten, coach Sacchi, Franco Baresi, president Silvio Berlusconi, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit with the European Cup in 1990
"Van Basten was hurt and we did not know if he was going to be the same again," said Sacchi. "So I went to the European Championship to see him come back for the Netherlands against England. I liked Lineker, but Van Basten scored three. I called President Berlusconi and told him: "Lineker has played well, but we have recovered Van Basten".
After retiring from the football club, Sacchi spent four years at the Italian FA, helping to improve his youth structure, and was impressed by the recent development of England in this sector.
He believes he will become a serious contender for the most important titles in the next four years and will accredit coaches like Guardiola to guide the philosophical changes at the top of the English game.
"England has a future ahead," said Sacchi. "We can see the light. Not so long ago, I saw England's Under-21 team play a style of play based on pressure, speed and movement.
Sacchi tells about the scouting mission at Euro 88 to decide whether to sign the Gary Lineker in Barcelona
"It was an organic group, continually well positioned, with a clear idea of what they had to do with and without the ball, a unit that moves like a steamroller with short passages, on the ground, constant pressure, very impressive.
"England will be the protagonist, if not at the Euro so definitely at the next World Cup.
"It has changed radically from the past, many academies have been opened where you can train twice a day, much more than we do in Italy, with new methods, not long ball, but with teams that move compactly – not dispersed.
"It is extraordinary what Pep Guardiola has given, others can also win, but their leadership stops with victory, Guardiola and Sarri's football do not give new ideas to everyone."