Pep’s first words

Pep Guardiola's first speech to the players upon his appointment as Barcelona boss has been revealed in an excerpt from a new book.

The excerpt, from 'Pep Guardiola: Another way of Winning', written by Spanish football expert Guillem Ballague, was published in The Telegraph today.

The scene it describes takes place in a hotel in St Andrews, Scotland, during the Catalan club's preparations for season 2008-09.

“Gentlemen, good morning. You can imagine what a huge motivation it is for me to be here, to coach this team. It is the ultimate honour. Above all, I love the club. I would never make a decision that would harm or go against the club. Everything I am going to do is based on my love for FC Barcelona. We need and want order and discipline.

“The team has been through a time when not everybody was as professional as they should have been. It is time for everybody to run and to give their all.

“I’ve been part of this club for many years and I am aware of the mistakes that have been made in the past, I will defend you to the death but I can also say that I will be very demanding of you all: just like I will be with myself.

“I only ask this of you. I won’t tell you off if you misplace a pass, or miss a header that costs us a goal, as long as I know you are giving 100 per cent. I could forgive you any mistake, but I won’t forgive you if you don’t give your heart and soul to Barcelona.”

Guardiola goes on to stress the importance of unity and style.

“We’re here to help each other and make sure there is spiritual peace so that the players don’t feel tension or division. We are one. We are not little groups because in all teams this is what ends up killing team spirit.

“The players in this room are very good, if we can’t get them to win anything, it will be our fault. Let’s stick together when times are hard. Make sure that nothing gets leaked to the press. I don’t want anybody to fight a battle on his own.

“The style comes dictated by the history of this club and we will be faithful to it. When we have the ball, we can’t lose it. When that happens, run and get it back. That is it, basically.”

The former Blaugrana midfielder went on to become the most successful Coach in the club's history, winning three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues during his four year tenure. He is currently on a year long sabbatical in New York.

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