Josep Guardiola spoke at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s derby with Espanyol, which will be his last home fixture as first team manager. On the response to his departure, he said that “I have never liked goodbyes. But I have been a very public person, the manager of a team like FC Barcelona and whether I like it or not, I’m always going to be on the front page and it’s only normal for things like this to happen … I just hope that the people react as they have always reacted – naturally.”
Guardiola underlined that “I have been a manager here for four years and it’s only natural for there to be so much attention on me,” he said. “But that has to be the secondary issue here. The people are coming to see a football match.” He also confessed that right now all the team’s effort is concentrated on the Copa del Rey final on the 25th against Athletic Club.
The FC Barcelona manager commented that “people have sensed that the players have given everything they can. And if the fans have reacted like this, it’s because the latest successes are still very fresh on their minds. We have taken chances at every ground we’ve played. We have made it to 90 points for the fourth year in a row. With numbers like those, you can only take your hat off to these players.”
Asked about their eternal rival, he said that “to beat a team like Madrid, you have to do better than very well. This year we did things very well, but that wasn’t enough.” Asked about recent negative comments about him as a person, he replied, “for some time they have trying to make out that I’m not who I say I am. I just wish they’d leave me to be who I am.”
Source: fcbarcelona.cat; Picture credit: Efe / Alejandro García