• Guillermo Amor observes Adelaide's training (Adelaide United)
Former Barcelona star Guillermo Amor has seen enough football from down under to declare that Australians can be as good as most other footballers if they work hard and believe in themselves.
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1 Sep 2014 - 5:36 PM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2014 - 9:10 AM

Amor even pleaded with Australian players to ignore a perception abroad that our football is far more physical than technical and concentrate on what they do best.

Amor, who won five Spanish championships and the European Cup with the Catalan giant in the 1990s, is waiting for a work permit that would enable him to become Adelaide United's technical director.

He has been in Australia since mid-July and has helped his old friend from Barcelona and current Reds coach Josep Gombau at training.

It did not take Amor long to see for himself the level of football Adelaide's players can produce at training or in trial matches.

"I very much like the style and level of performance I've seen from Adelaide's players so far," Amor, 46, said.

"I can see that Australian players are good professionals who work hard and are keen to do well.

"I have not seen too much football but I know that if there is an idea that Australian footballers are basically physical and competitive sportsmen it is wrong.

"I'm not sure of the other A-League teams but from what I've seen at Adelaide Australian players can be as good with the ball as most others.

"If they work hard and have belief in their ability there is no limit to what they can achieve.

"I like what I've seen and that's why I've accepted the technical director's job."

Amor comes from a school of football that turned the patient, possession game into an art form.

Gombau, who started his coaching career at Barcelona, has made no secret of his intention of making Adelaide play a version of Barca's tiki-taka game that helped it become the finest club team in the world three years ago.

Adelaide has made a marked improvement in the quality of its football since Gombau took over at the start of last season.

But are the Reds able to take the next step and become serious exponents of a style of game that requires patience and complete mastery of the ball?

"I believe Australians are perfectly entitled to believe they can do it," Amor said.

"I work with Adelaide's first team and the youths every day and I can see that everyone tries to play the ball on the ground and not be too direct.

"Players take their time and are patient enough to wait for the right opportunities (to attack).

"This is the way we'd like Adelaide to play but it is still early days and there is more work to be done."

The last two UEFA Champions League tournaments and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil have not been kind to Barcelona and Spain.

Barca's and Spain's acclaimed tiki-taka was found wanting, particularly against well prepared teams from northern Europe that made the playing style look slow and ineffective.

So is tiki-taka dead?

Amor said that it was still a major weapon essentially because keeping the ball as much as possible and using it well are still the main characteristics of a successful team at any level.

"Having the ball is still very important ... as is working hard to get it back with pressing," Amor explained.

"Barca and Spain were on top because they played very well with and without the ball and the players took up good positions on the field.

"This is the idea of tiki-taka and nothing has changed in this regard.

"Adelaide are on the way to doing this but I must add that winning matches is very important too."