Not one for mincing words, current Bayern Munich and former Barcelona manager is a journalist’s dream. Honest, emotive and intense, Pep Guardiola‘s press conferences invariably throw up juicy sound bites that can be milked for their worth.
Recently, after losing to Manchester City in the Champions League despite playing most of the match with 10 men, Guardiola was scathing in his criticism of his team, and was caught on record saying,” If we lose and we play s***, then we play s***!”.
Another blunt admission from the Spaniard, and there’s many more where that came from.
Here are some of the best quotes by Pep Guardiola:
10) About Wilshere’s talent
“He (Wilshere) is lucky because we have many players in the second team like him but he plays because there is no pressure at his club to win titles.” – Guardiola tries his hand at “mind games” ahead of Barcelona’s 2011 Champions League clash with Arsenal.
9) On how he plans for each match
“I sit down and watch videos. I take notes. That’s when that inspiration comes – the moment that makes sense of my profession. The instant I know, for sure, that I’ve got it. I know how to win. It’s the moment that my job becomes truly meaningful.”
8) Talking about tiki-taka
“I hate tiki-taka. I always will. I want nothing more to do with tiki-taka. Tiki-taka is a load of shit, a made-up term. It means passing the ball for the sake of passing, with no real aim or aggression – nothing. I will not allow my brilliant players to fall for all that rubbish.
“Don’t believe what people say. Barça didn’t do tiki-taka! It’s completely made up! Don’t believe a word of it!”
7) On Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm
“Lahm is a scandal. He is super-intelligent, understands the game brilliantly, knows when to come inside or to stay wide. The guy is f****** exceptional.” – Guardiola raves about Lahm in his new book Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich.
6) On losing to Real Madrid 4-0 in the 2013/14 Champions League Semifinal
“I got it wrong, man. I got it totally wrong. It’s a monumental fuck-up. A total mess. The biggest fuck-up of my life as a coach.” – Another gem from his new book, Pep Confidential.
5) Inspiring his Barcelona side before the 2009 Champions League Final
“Gentlemen, if you lose today you will continue to be the best in the world – but if you win today you will be eternal.”
4) Confrontation with a reporter after Bayern’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United in the 2013/14 Champions League
“It’s not easy when you want to control the game and nine players in the box, eight, nine players there. So it’s not easy. But we controlled the game.”
At this point, the reporter insinuated that Guardiola’s comments suggested Manchester United adopted a negative attitude to the game. This angered Guardiola, who responded:
“I didn’t say that. He’s [Moyes] my colleague. I respect my colleague and colleague can play like – look at me when I talk to you.”
3) Speech at the Parliament of Catalonia after receiving its Medal of Honour, 2011
“If we get up early and have a think, believe me, we are an unstoppable country. Thank you and Long Live Catalonia.”
2) Feuding with Mourinho when manager at Barcelona
“I know Mourinho only too well and he’s trying to provoke me into a reaction. I’m not going to react, I’m not going to answer back. Only when I think the time is right.
“As Mourinho has spoken so candidly about me and spoken about me by name, and using tú [the informal form of you], then I will do the same.
“Outside of the field, he has won the entire year, the entire season and in the future [it will be the same]. He can have his personal Champions League outside the field. Fine. Let him enjoy it, I’ll give him that. But this is a game. When it comes to sport we will play and sometimes we will win, sometimes we will lose.
“In this room [Real Madrid’s press room], he is the chief, the f***** man. In here he is the f***** man and I can’t compete with him.
1) On being presented as Barcelona manager in June 2008
“I can’t promise titles but I am convinced that the fans will be proud of us.
“I give you my word that we will put in an effort. I don’t know if we’ll win, but we’ll persist. Put on your seat belts, because we’re going to have fun.”