Allegations of spying at Barcelona have now spread to former Coach Pep Guardiola, who is accused of keeping tabs on defender Gerard Pique.
El Confidencial are alleging today that the club’s Coach from 2008 to 2012 ordered the detective agency Metodo 3 to follow the centre-back, before and during the early days of his relationship with pop singer Shakira, to see that he was ‘leading an orderly life’.
Metodo 3 are the detective agency believed to have been hired by then President Joan Laporta and Vice-President Ferran Soriano in their bid to keep an eye on fellow directors at the club who they believed were working against them.
With investigations commissioned by then director of security Xavier Martorell, it is reported today that these not only focused on directors, but on some of the players, at the request of Guardiola and Manel Estiarte, director of external relations at the club.
El Confidencial quote a source who worked at the club during the time and ‘was close to the players’ as saying that Guardiola and Estiarte did not hesitate in using the detective agency if they suspected a player was leading an unhealthy lifestyle that could affect their on-pitch performance.
These allegations tie in with reports that emerged in 2010 of the club spying on Deco, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o during the 2007-08 season, after which it was decided upon Guardiola’s arrival that they would be sold.
Eto’o stayed for another year before leaving in 2009, but Deco and Ronaldinho did depart in 2008.