MUNICH (Sporting Alert) — Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola blasted his former bosses for using his name to stir up trouble, while adding that he never tried to steal Neymar away from the Spanish champions.

The new Bayern Munich manager was extremely angry with members of the Barcelona directors and took the opportunity to vent his frustration at a recent press conference.

“I travelled 6,000 kilometres and asked the Barça board to leave me alone, but I haven’t achieved this. They haven’t kept their word,” Guardiola said.

“There have been too many things this year that have crossed the line. Using Tito Vilanova’s illness to hurt me is something I will never forget.

“I’ve seen Tito Vilanova in New York and if I haven’t met him it’s because it hasn’t been possible due to my commitments.”

There is no secret that Guardiola had shown interest in Neymar from Santos FC before the Brazilian chose Barcelona, but the Spanish tactician denied speaking badly about his long time friend and former assist Tito Vilanova in order to land the signature of Neymar.

“Last year he won the most successful league title in Barça’s history, which proves his ability to do the job,” Guardiola said.

“Good players always have the ability to play together and the same applies to those two (Neymar and Messi).”

He added: “I spoke to Neymar on the phone three years ago, because the president, Rosell, asked me to call him to see if he could be persuaded to join Barça.

“All I did was convince him to go. When I became manager of Bayern, I wanted to see if his situation had changed, as I didn’t know if things were different after our call. I arranged a meeting with him and his father in New York and after five minutes I knew he wanted to sign for Barça.”

Guardiola is now calling for Barcelona to just let him live his life.

“I wish they would leave me alone and stop using my friendships to hurt me,” he explained. “If I want to have dinner with Johan Cruyff, I will have dinner with Johan Cruyff.

“I don’t owe anyone anything. They should stick to what they do best. We’ll embrace if we meet in the AudiCup and I hope Barça does well. But there are some things that I will never forget.”

Guardiola added: “I wish they would let me enjoy my work. If anything is not true from all the things I’ve said, they must come out and deny them.

“But they should be the ones to come out, not middlemen. They should come out and deny what I’ve just said. Then we’ll keep talking. Until then I just want to be left to enjoy preparing my team.”


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