While Pep Guardiola is regarded as one of the top coaches in the modern game and has won every trophy club football has to offer. Despite his success as a manager, he’s disliked by a large number of ex-players for his strange behaviour off the pitch. Without further ado, here are ten players that hate Guardiola.
The curly haired Brazilian was managed by Pep during his time at Bayern Munich. He joined the year Munich won the treble and formed a mean defensive partnership with Boateng, conceding 15 goals in 34 games. Dante was sold to Wolfsburg despite being a consistent starter in the centre of defence. Later Dante declared that Guardiola was a tactical genius but isn’t good dealing with players on a human level.
The Belarusian had a moderately successful spell at Arsenal, helping them reach a Champions League final. Hleb was one of Guardiola’s first signings at Barca alongside Dani Alves and Gerard Pique. Seven months into his career in the La Liga, Hleb had only started five games and though they won the treble that year, he wasn’t happy to sit on the bench. He turned down a loan move to Inter Milan to return to his old club Stuttgart before somehow ending up at Birmingham. Unwilling to take responsibility for his disappointing spell at Barcelona, Hleb stated that Guardiola isn’t a great manager and is successful because he has the best team with the best players. He believed that Jose Mourinho, Alex Ferguson and Wenger are far better managers.
It’s safe to say Ibrahimovic isn’t Guardiola’s biggest fan after the pair fell out during their time together at Barcelona. The first six months went well until tactics changed and the Swede was no longer the focal point of attack. Zlatan was played out of his position on the wing to make space of Messi in attack. His ego couldn’t take it and a feud started to emerge. The striker claimed Barcelona bought a Ferrari and treated it like a fiat. Towards the end of his spell at the Nou Camp, Ibrahimovic spent more time on the bench and Guardiola stopped talking to him. Thankfully his nightmare ended when he was sold to AC Milan.
Many footballers dream of playing under Guardiola, one man who can’t seem to escape him is Yaya Toure. The Ivorian emerged as of the brightest prospects in Europe playing in Greece with Olympiacos. Barcelona snapped him up €10 million and he became the trusted defensive midfielder behind Xavi and Iniesta. When Pep took over this quickly changed and the clubs top stars Ronaldinho and Deco were sold to make way for Busquets and Pedro. As Busquets matured into a world-class midfielder this was Toure’s downfall. Yaya became aggravated as once again the Spaniard ignored him until Man City came in with a transfer bid. They were reunited at Man City seven years later where once again Toure found himself on the bench. Toure left in 2018 and rejoined his old club Olympiacos.
Ozil is the only player on the list to dislike Guardiola despite never playing for him. His hatred began after the 2010 World Cup where the German playmaker exploits had every big club in Europe trying to sign him. Barca were amongst the group of clubs interested and Ozil was keen on a move to Catalonia. However, Pep wasn’t that bothered, he was on vacation during the transfer window and never text or rang him. Ozil ended up singing for Real Madrid, making 47 assists in 103 league games under Jose Mourinho.
No one can argue that Eto’o wasn’t good enough for a Guardiola side. The striker won the treble in Catalonia in 2009 and won another treble the following season with Inter Milan, scoring 52 goals in two seasons. He didn’t respect him as a coach and found it hard to take advice from someone who was never a great player. Reportedly Eto’o only spoke to Pep three times over the course of the season. In a strange transfer deal, Barcelona paid €46 million plus Eto’o to sign Ibrahimovic.
The lanky Croatian forward had a fantastic World Cup, helping is home nation reach the World Cup final. During this time at Munich, he was another quality player that didn’t suit Guardiola’s style of play. Mandzukic believed that the Spaniard treated him with disrespect and disliked his negative energy. He left Juventus and transferred to Atletico Madrid where he resumed his career as a prolific goal scorer.
Hart played a crucial role in Man City securing their first ever Premier League title. During his time up North, the Shrewsbury born shot-stopper was lauded as the best Premier League goal keeper in the 2012 season and four golden gloves. As soon as Pep joined the club, Joe Hart’s position as first-choice keeper came under threat. Claudio Bravo was signed for £17 million, not long after Hart was deemed surplus requirements and sent out on loan to Torino. Bravo’s performances between the sticks weren’t much better and Man City paid £35 million to acquire Ederson.
Four years on after scoring the winning goal in a World Cup final, Gotze is struggling to turnaround his career. He’s now back at Dortmund after a disappointing end to his spell at Bayern Munich. While Gotze thinks Guardiola is brilliant from a technical perspective, on a personal level he lacks empathy. He’s a cold person that only cares about what happens on the pitch. German also stated he preferred playing Jurgen Klopp, a prime example of a manager with great people skills.
A graduate from the renowned La Masia academy, Bojan was once a promising wonderkid with expected to partner with Messi in attack. Bojan made over 100 league appearances with a majority of them coming from the bench. He felt Guardiola didn’t give him enough opportunities to showcase his ability and left the club for regular first-team action. Currently, Bojan is still at Stoke City, where the Spaniard is now experiencing the thrill of football in the Championship. It turns out Barcelona were right to sell the youngster.