Pep Guardiola wasn’t slow to answer back after Jose Mourinho made his usual insinuation about Barcelona. The 41 year old manager, with his future still unknown despite everyone involved with the club probably hoping he’ll make the right decision and stay with the European champions, used his press conference to answer his rival from Real Madrid.
Like it or not, this is more than just a sport rivalry. Personal? Somewhat, with Mourinho, for the first time in a very long time, feeling he has built enough of a lead in the La Liga (10 points currently) and earned enough leeway so he can bite back at the Catalans after a long time of relative silence, which has actually been beneficial for his club, if you buy into the theory that less media talk means more concentration on actually coaching and improving your team.
Guardiola had about 24 hours to contemplate Mourinho’s words, and fired back during the press conference ahead of Barcelona’s visit to Cantabria on Sunday, facing Racing.
The only thing we have in common is our desire to win and win trophies. But we’ve never been similar in our ways. I never wanted to emulate him, his behavior. There are hundreds of pictures and thousands of press conferences that we can look back on and see we’re not similar. I don’t try to embarrass anyone during my press conferences.
I think it’s better that next time he just says my name. Everyone knows who he was talking about.
Is Guardiola frustrated with the way things have turned out this season in the league? Probably, although he does his best to hide it. He has conceded that Barcelona won’t be able to win their fourth consecutive La Liga title, but his quick response to Mourinho’s words, talking about Barcelona complaining about referees and their hypocrisy might be either genuine frustration or some psychological trick, already creating a build up for the next Clasico and a potential Champions League clash.
I want to make it clear – we are behind Real because of the good results they’ve achieved all through the season. We’re good, but they’re better this season. We were wonderful, but only occasionally. We had times when we weren’t as good, while they remained consistent.