Jim McGuinness' rise up the football coaching ladder will not peak with his time in the Chinese Super League, believes Joe Brolly. The Derry man thinks that one day McGuinness could manage Barcelona.
Earlier this week, McGuinness became assistant coach to German Roger Schmidt at Beijing Guoan. It is the latest step in the Donegal man's rapid rise since first joining Celtic as a performance consultant less than five years ago.
Speaking on Independent.ie's GAA podcast The Throw In, Brolly said McGuinness' charisma, ability to communicate and also genuinely think his way through situations will see him go far in the game.
I wrote three or four that I have no doubt he will be the manager of Barcelona some day because he is an extraordinary person to meet.
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 often 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.
Brolly said he had no doubt that McGuinness would go 'to the top of the tree in soccer'.
When put to him that managing Barcelona might be a stretch, Brolly responded with further reasons for his belief in the 44-year-old.
Jose Mourinho was an assistant to some guy and didn't even play at a high level. Jim, wherever he goes, is going to take people's breaths away.
You look at the morale of Celtic. Look at the vigour, the way they overwhelm teams. That was always Jim's philosophy.
Jim was Brendan Rodger's go-to guy. Any problem with players underperforming, Jim was in. You can see the way Celtic are purring now. I have no dobut that's going to happen in Beijing.
Picture credit: Sportsfile