Blaugrana Library: Guardiola and Messi

Blaugrana Library: Guardiola and Messi

Welcome to the second part of our Blaugrana Library series. We want to share with you good books about FC Barcelona and its players, coaches, and tactics. Today we will take a closer look at books about two legends: Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi.

Pep Guardiola. De Santpedor a la banqueta del Barça (Catalan), 2009, 2011

[Pep Guardiola. From Santpedor to Barça’s bench]

by Jaume Collel

Other languages: Pep Guardiola. De Santpedor al banquillo del Barça (Spanish)

Walls and doors of the little square in Santpedor, Pep Guardiola’s home town, still remember endless afternoons filled with football and laughter. Jaume Collell invites us on an incredible journey from the little Catalan town to the bench at the Camp Nou. We follow the steps of Josep Guardiola i Sala from a little boy playing football with friends to later in the youth ranks of La Masia. Once again we witness his debut in the first team, the glorious years of Dream Team, and the Olympic Games in Barcelona. Collell describes details of Pep’s years in Barcelona, Italy, Qatar, and Mexico, his retirement and great return as coach of FC Barcelona. It’s not only a book about a footballer, this biography also attempts to describe the rich personality of Guardiola, his private life, friendships, and hobbies. We get to know Pep Guardiola’s story thanks to his family members, childhood friends, journalists, team mates and colleagues, as well as various people from the club, including presidents Núñez and Gaspart, other coaches and artists.

This little book about one of the greatest people in the history of FC Barcelona you will read again and again. We all know the incredible story of Guardiola, but Collell’s book gives us more personal insight. You will smile reading about Josep’s letters to the Three Kings, and his joyful moments when he debuted in the first team or the even more remarkable time  when his partner told him that he would be a father. Along with the joy, you will also feel the pain of being a child away from your family, the doping accusations, and the bitter taste of his final months at FC Barcelona as a player. It’s a  valuable book, with a lot of facts and quotes, but it’s not overloaded with data. Reading it gives you the pleasure of reading a good story. It would make a great basis for a screenplay, with only the inserted pictures reminding you it is a biography. Collell describes many different aspects of Guardiola’s life and in that way gives you a bigger picture of the person, sportsman and coach. Read it with a pencil and notebook nearby, you will want to remember many of the stories and details long afterwards.

Lionel Messi, The Inside Story of the Boy Who Become a Legend (English), 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012

by Luca Caioli

Other languages: Messi: Ein Junge wird zur Legende (German), MESSI Historia chłopca, który stał się legendą (Polish), Messi : la història del noi que s’ha convertit en llegenda (Catalan), Messi : la historia del chico que se convirtió en leyenda (Spanish), Messi: het verhaal van een jongen die een werldster wer (Dutch), Messi – Η βιογραφία ενός μύθου (Greek),

What you can write about Messi? We all know and admire his incredible talent, we cheer his goals and plays. However, when it comes to describing this great footballer, we don’t know where to start. Luca Caioli managed to describe Messi’s story so far, from his childhood in Argentina to becoming an idol for people around the world. He is well known and respected, and many believe he is the greatest footballer ever. We also know he is shy and not very talkative at press conferences. Instead of talking he prefers to play football. It’s hard to describe his talent, but often attempts are made with statistics, numbers, and all kind of data. Luca Caioli describes Messi using stories and anecdotes and he does so  quite well.

This is a great, detailed story about Lionel with countless anecdotes and quotes. Every football fan should know the background of this incredible boy who still has so much to offer his fans and all people who enjoy the beautiful game.