Sunday 15 December 2019

Barcelona president: Manchester City not trying to replicate us

Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu does not think Manchester City are trying to replicate his club
Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu does not think Manchester City are trying to replicate his club

Manchester City may have appointed Pep Guardiola as their manager from next season, but according to Barcelona's president, they are not trying to replicate the Catalan club.

Guardiola won 14 major titles in four seasons in charge of Barcelona, stepping up from coaching the B side of the club he represented with distinction as a player.

He has since gone on to enjoy further success with Bayern Munich but his work with Barca remains his stand-out, with many thinking City have plumped for him in a bid to copy the La Liga champions' distinctive style of play.

They also have ex-Barca staff Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain on their books, but president Josep Maria Bartomeu does not agree that they are trying to become an incarnation of his club.

He told the BBC: "I don't think City are replicating anything. Like a lot of clubs in the world, they have a project to make the club grow.

"Some of their people used to be with us at Barcelona and they are bringing their experience to the club. This is normal because in Europe there is the movement of professionals from one to another.

"Pep will do well at any club, he is a very good coach and did a fantastic job at Barcelona. He was in the playing arena for years and I had the privilege of working with him for two years. He has very good ideas for football which he brought to Bayern and now City.

"They are not copying, they are evolution of an idea and Pep will do it great. The Premier League will have the advantage of having one of the best coaches in the world."

Bartomeu also added that the Premier League's new TV deal - worth just over £5billion - makes him worried when it comes to keeping talent in Spain.

"We have different budgets in Spain and it would be difficult for someone like Leicester to be top of the league," he said.

"Our rivals are the Premier League, they are the big adversaries. We have to do our best to increase our revenues and our financial situation to make the talent of our teams stay with us.

"That is why I am so worried and we are working on this. We want to keep the talent at home."

PA Media

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