10 Facts You Do Not Know About Pep Guardiola
New Man City boss Pep Guardiola has made a perfect start to his journey in the Premier League. After successful spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola has clinched victory in all the 10 matches after taking charge at Man City as their new manager. The Spanish manager has played a pivotal role in guiding his team to the top of the Premier League table and also earned huge accolades for their success in the on-going Champions League campaign.
Here are 10 amazing facts that you should know about the new Manchester City Manager.
FAVOURITE SON OF SANTPEDOR
Pep Guardiola hails from the small Catalan town of Santpedor in north-east Spain. And the home ground of local team CF Santpedor is now called Camp Municipal Josep Guardiola in honour of Guardiola’s achievements. The municipal council also named Guardiola their “favourite son of the town” in October 2009.
CROUCH, THAT HURT!
Who is Pep’s favourite striker? Messi? Nope. Lewandoski? Nope. Augero? Nope. It’s Peter Crouch. During the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Guardiola wrote a series of columns for El Pais where he gushed over a favourite striker from the tournament, the lanky Crouch. “Wayne Rooney is perhaps more decisive and beautiful to watch,” he wrote, “but what’s certain is that Crouch conditions you more. With Crouch, you have to play to Crouch’s game. And playing to Crouch’s game gives you a lot.”
NO AUTOGRAPH FOR PEP
Guardiola was once refused an autograph by Michel Platini, when offered a poster of the Frenchman, while doing ball-boy duties. Platini’s poster adorned Guardiola’s childhood wall
WHERE FOOTBALL MEETS ART
Guardiola knows and loves a work of art! After leaving Barcelona, he spent much of his sabbatical in New York around the art galleries of the Big Apple.
HIS LOVE SUITS HIM WELL
Guardiola’s relationship with wife Cristina Serra grew around the latter’s family clothes shop in Manresa, in Spain’s north east. And that’s the secret to his smart dapper looks. Christine is heiress to the family owned clothing boutique Serra Claret and is responsible for his dressing sense. Ah, he also got featured in the cover of Spanish edition of GQ, the men’s magazine.
ONE TO NONE
Guardiola does not do one-on-one interviews with any journalist – only press conferences and post-match interviews. He makes an exception though for anyone writing a book on him
TRAINSPOTTING IN ITALY
Guardiola won 16 trophies with Barcelona during his playing career. He moved on to play for Brescia and Roma in Italy, where he served a four-month ban for a positive drug test and was only cleared after two appeals
VIA QATAR & MEXICO
After his playing days in Europe, Pep spent time with Al-Ahly of Qatar. There in June 2005, he retired as a player when his contract with Qatari club Al-Ahli finished and started his coaching courses. But then he decided to put his boots back on for Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa.
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE
24 hours before any game, Pep is a bundle of nerves – so tensed and focused that he is loses his appetite. But he replenishes himself with several bottles of water.
‘MARADONA OF WATER POLO’
Guardiola’s right-hand man is Manuel Estiarte – a 6-time Olympian who won Olympic Gold and World Cup titles among many medals in his career. Not in football though. Estiarte was known as the “Maradona of Water Polo”.He plays a key role in his coaching staff.
Pep believes that a team should train in the same rhythm as they play because ‘if you train badly you play badly if you train like beasts you play like beasts’! But not every player is a fan of his methods. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who played under Guardiola at the Camp Nou in 2009-10, has called him a ‘spineless coward’ in his autobiography ‘I Am Zlatan’ and Samuel Eto’o told French television that Guardiola “never had the courage to say things to my face”.
‘La meva gent, el meu futbol’ (my people, my football) – Ever heard of this book? Well, it’s authored by Pep along with two respected football journalists from Spain – Lu Martin and Miguel Rico. Released in 2001, the book is so difficult to find that it will cost you thousands of dollars even if you manage you find it. Its only available in Catalan but it’s out of print and Pep doesn’t want it republished.