Video: Pep Guardiola clashes with AC Milan's Nigel De Jong in tunnel during friendly
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola got into an altercation with Nigel de Jong in the tunnel after the Dutchman’s tackle had forced one of his players to be stretchered off, ESPN FC reports. Pep was seen shouting angrily as the players were heading back to their dressing rooms at half-time during the match between the German giants and AC Milan.
The incident which infuriated Guardiola happened in the 20th minute as De Jong’s tackle forced Bayern youngster Joshua Kimmick off the field. The 20-year-old arrived at Munich this summer from Stuttgart and is touted as one of Germany’s brightest prospects for the future.
Guardiola was still fuming as the players were leaving the field at the interval and made his opinion known to De Jong in the tunnel. De Jong, who is not one to shy away from an altercation, was more than willing to make his thoughts known as well and had to be restrained by his fellow players before things got out of hand.
Speaking after the match, which Bayern won comfortably 3-0, the Spaniard didn’t go into detail as to what all he said, instead praising the youngster and insisting his reactions were only for the well-being of his player.
"I told De Jong that I was sad for Joshua," he told reporters. "He won't be able to play in the final [against Real Madrid] and perhaps he'll be out even longer than that. He certainly will become one of the best German players in the next 10 years."
David Alaba, who came on to replace Kimmick, though didn’t shy away from making his opinion known.
"The challenge against Kimmich should have been punished more severely," he told German TV channel ZDF. "The ball was clearly gone. Nigel De Jong rushed fully through."
Mihajlovic supports De Jong
De Jong is known for his hard tackles and his kung-fu kick against Xabi Alonso in the final of the 2010 World Cup is highly infamous. Before that, he had broken the right leg of United States midfielder Stuart Holden in March forcing him out of football’s showpiece event.
He followed it with a tackle against Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa while playing for Manchester City in a Premier League match that left the Frenchman sidelined for a long time with two broken bones on his left leg. Despite carrying a reputation as a dangerous player, Milan had no qualms about extending the midfielder’s contract in the summer and later appointed De Jong as the club’s new skipper from the 2015/16 season.
Milan manager Sinisa Mihajlovic was supportive of the 30-year-old and instead chose to criticise his Bayern counterpart for his reactions.
“I didn’t see the challenge,” Mihajlovic said on Sport Mediaset, as reported by Football Italia. “Football isn’t dancing and fouls are part of the sport. This is also why games like this cannot be called friendlies.”
Here’s the video of the tunnel row between Guardiola and De Jong.