Guardiola revels in pressure

Pep Guardiola admits his huge success at Barcelona means the
pressure of expectation will be on him when he makes his return to
the game.

Guardiola, currently on a year-long sabbatical in New York after
leaving Barcelona last May, has a agreed a three-year deal at
Bayern and will take over at the end of the season when current
boss Jupp Heynckes retires.

Guardiola won 14 trophies during an incredible four years in
charge at the Nou Camp, including three Primera Division titles and
two Champions League crowns.

He is also credited with moulding a Barca side which many class
as the greatest team of all time.

Speaking to in an interview conducted last week and
published on Thursday morning, the 41-year-old admitted his time at
Barca has put added pressure on him going into his next post, but
sees his track record as a positive rather than a negative.

“Yes, but I wouldn’t change it! I prefer to carry on like this,
having experienced what I’ve been through, rather than starting out
somewhere you’ve got to win everyone over,” said Guardiola,
speaking at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony.

“Things are a bit different now: when I started out at Barcelona
some 86 or 87 per cent of people didn’t want me.

“Now, thanks to how well everything went, there’ll be clubs that
are more interested in me. These things happen in life and you
can’t control them. We achieved what we did all together, thanks to
so many people, and I’ll remember everything I experienced during
those years.”

Bayern were one of a host of clubs reportedly keen on securing
Guardiola’s services, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester
City, AC Milan, Roma and Paris Saint Germain all linked with

When asked about that speculation, Guardiola said: “It made me
feel bad for the coaches who were in the clubs at the time. I
personally wouldn’t like it if I was coaching somewhere and my club
was releasing this kind of information while I was still there.

“But I’ve kept out of everything, I’m still out of it and I’ll
stay that way, out of respect for the people who are trying to do
their jobs. That said, it makes you think that you’re not getting
the offer because of how good you are, but because of what you’ve

“We won a lot and that’s why I’m more in demand now than when I
started out, when only three or four people at Barcelona believed
in me. The others didn’t feel the same way.”