NEWS
Thursday July 11 2013
‘I told Barca to leave me alone, but…’

Pep Guardiola has criticised Sandro Rosell and Barcelona for not leaving him alone when on sabbatical in New York.

The Coach left Barca at the end of the 2011-12 season to spend a year away from the sport, during which time he agreed to take over at Bayern Munich from the 2013-14 season.

In building up to that through preseason, the 42-year-old has revealed today his frustration at his former team.

“I went 6,000 miles away and asked the President to leave me alone and they have not succeeded, they have not kept their word,” complained Guardiola to reporters today.

“I did my time and left. It was not his responsibility, it was I who decided to leave. They do their job, they are happy with the players that they have, they do what they do, I wish them all the success in the world because they will also be a part of me, because I do not need to say what this club means to me.

“But this year there has been too much going on and they have crossed the line. To use Tito Vilanova’s illness to hurt me is something that I will not forget.

“I saw Tito when he was in New York and if I have not seen him then it was because it was not possible, but not on my part.

“Do I have to justify that I want things to go wrong for someone who I have had for so long beside me as a colleague? This is in bad taste.

“Whilst at Barce I did the best I could, with all my might, and the decision [to leave] was made for me, they have to be calm, at all levels, as everyone has a job to do, it was me who left.

“I asked them to please let me go. I went to New York with my family to learn English  and, instead, I have learned German. The only thing I have spent my time doing. It is why I asked them to leave me alone. To stop using my friends.

“If I have dinner with Johan Cruyff, I have dinner with Johan Cruyff. I owe nothing to anyone. I did my job as best I could.

“Everything good that happens to Barca will make me happy, but there are thing that I will not ever forget.”

It was rumoured this week that Guardiola looked to try and sign Neymar from under Barcelona’s nose, apparently telling the player’s father that Vilanova would not know how to play him alongside Lionel Messi.

“I called Neymar three years ago because Rosell asked me to look to see if there was a chance to convince him to come to Barca and I did.

“At the last FIFA gala, we met and spoke about football, Santos’ idea of playing. When I became Bayern Coach, I did not know his situation and asked if he really had signed for Barca or not, I wanted to meet with him and his father.

“After five minutes I realised that he wanted to go to Barcelona and in every occasion talking to him he has said 20 times he wanted to go to Barcelona.

“In the three times that we spoke, the name of Tito Vilanova did not arise. I do not need to say if he is qualified or not.

“He was my assistant for five years and last year for what he did, in leading the club to their most successful League season in their history, is a sufficient argument to say if he is qualified or not.

“Good players are able to play together forever, and these two [Neymar and Messi] can too.”

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