Saturday 10 December 2016

10 things you never knew about Pep Guardiola

Published 24/04/2015 | 16:58

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola is set to return to the club that formed him both as a player and as a manager after his Bayern Munich side were drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.

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Here, Press Association Sport lists 10 things you may not know about the former Spain international and Santpedor's "favourite son".

1. As a youngster doing ball-boy duties, Guardiola was once refused an autograph by Michel Platini, when offered a poster of the Frenchman which had adorned Guardiola's childhood wall.

2. Guardiola is an art lover, and spent much of his sabbatical in New York - after leaving Barcelona - around the galleries of the Big Apple.

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3. Guardiola's wardrobe has been making headlines recently, first with a T-shirt he wore in a pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League clash against Porto - the slogan promoted a campaign for justice surrounding the death of an Argentinian journalist. Guardiola then celebrated Bayern's come-from-behind victory over Porto just that little bit too much, causing a noticeable tear down one side of his trousers. He has famous company on that front at least in David Moyes and Jose Mourinho.

4. Speaking of clothes, Guardiola's relationship with wife Cristina Serra grew around the latter's family clothes shop in Manresa, in Spain's north east.

5. And a love of smart clothes naturally translates to a love of.... golf. A keen player, Guardiola attended the 2012 'Miracle in Medinah' on the invitation of Europe's Ryder Cup captain and compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal.

6. Aside from his playing career in Europe, Guardiola spent time with Al-Ahly of Qatar and then Dorados de Sinaloa of Mexico, which proved his swansong.

7. Guardiola does not do one-on-one interviews - only press conferences.

8. Guardiola is from the small Catalan town of Santpedor in north-east Spain. In honour of Guardiola's achievements, the home ground of local team CF Santpedor was given the name Camp Municipal Josep Guardiola.

9. The municipal council also named Guardiola their "favourite son of the town" in October 2009.

10. When preparing for life in Germany, Guardiola reportedly spent hours with a German teacher while in New York. He gave parts of his first Bayern Munich press conference in German.

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