Guardiola points to Barcelona and Madrid as proof that money alone doesn’t bring success

When Lionel Messi handed in his infamous Burofax last summer to signal his intention to leave Barcelona, one of the key reasons he cited for making his decision was Barcelona’s lack of a sporting project. The Argentine felt that the Catalans’ European rivals had stole a march on them and that they had been left trailing in their dust, best exemplified by the shocking 8-2 rout they suffered at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League at the end of last season in Lisbon.

The favourite to secure his signature was Manchester City, the Premier League juggernaut coached by the man who won two Champions League titles with Messi at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola. They most certainly have a sporting project, and it’s only been amplified this season. Guardiola built a super-team that won back-to-back league titles only to falter last campaign, but he’s managed to rebuild a titanic force this season. His team lead the Premier League, ten clear of second-placed Manchester United.

Speaking in a pre-match press-conference ahead of City’s clash with West Ham United this lunchtime, Guardiola gave full credit to the talent he has at his disposal. But when pushed, he admitted that he of course gives himself credit, too. A common stick used to beat this iteration of City is the vast funds they invest in the squad, but as Guardiola pointed out many other clubs, including Real Madrid and Barcelona, have spent big in recent years too without building a side as all-conquering as his City.

Tags Barcelona La Liga Pep Guardiola