5 footballers who were not preferred by Pep Guardiola
There is no doubt that Pep Guardiola is among the best managers of all time. After all, winning the treble in his first season in charge of a senior side is a feat only the Spaniard has achieved. Guardiola’s achievements in such a short period of time is simply remarkable and that’s why many players are inclined towards working under him.
However, despite his credentials, there is one aspect of Guardiola’s management that has received plenty of criticism from various avenues, which is the way he deals with some of the star players of his side. This issue of his was brought to the fore right from his Barcelona days and he continues to do it at Bayern Munich.
If his track record is anything to go by, then some of the stars of Manchester City are in for a shock when Guardiola arrives in the summer.
Here are five players who weren’t preferred by the Spanish manager:
#1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Almost every manager in football and almost every team in the world would be happy to have a player of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s calibre in the team. The significance of the word ‘almost’ is huge because Ibrahimovic’s dream move to the Catalan club didn’t have a happy ending due to Pep Guardiola.
The Swede joined Barcelona from Inter Milan ahead of Guardiola’s second season in charge of the club and with Samuel Eto’o moving the opposite way, the charismatic forward was expected to lead the Barcelona attack.
However, Pep Guardiola had come up with some new ideas for the season and that eventually led to a very poor relationship between the player and the manager.
Guardiola moved Lionel Messi to his famous false-9 position even though Ibrahimovic had just signed for the club. Ibrahimovic started 36 games during the season and made 9 more substitute appearances, but even when he started, he was often taken off during many games.
This sort of treatment clearly didn’t go well with a star of his stature. Despite these problems, he scored 21 goals during the season including a winner against arch rivals Real Madrid.
The following season, David Villa joined Barcelona and it became clearer that Pep doesn’t want Ibrahimovic in the squad. The Swede was loaned to AC Milan for the season and the move was made permanent at the end of the loan spell.
Ibrahimovic being Ibrahimovic didn’t hold back on his feelings and went on to call Guardiola a ‘spineless coward’ in his autobiography.