Pep reveals former Spain team-mates left him out of WhatsApp group
Pep Guardiola reveals his former Spain team-mates have SHUNNED him and left him out of their WhatsApp group, with goalkeeper Santiago Canizares saying Man City boss’s brain ‘mutated’ to focus on Catalonian independence
Pep Guardiola’s team-mates from his time with the Spain national side have left him out of a WhatsApp group because of his policial views on Catalonian independence.
The Manchester City manager has always been public with his views on the independence of Catalonia but also fondly speaks about his time representing Spain in his playing career.
In a documentary called ‘Play it again, Pep’, Guardiola addresses the conflicting views he holds in comparison to his Spain team-mates, specifically those he played with at the 92 Olympic Games in Barcelona, and the views of team-mates at the time, such as goalkeeper Santiago Canizares.
Pep Guardiola’s team-mates from the Spain side have left him out of a WhatsApp group
Remarkably, Guardiola learned in the programme that the Spain squad nowadays keep in touch via a WhatsApp group that he has been left out of.
‘In Barcelona 92 we formed an incredible group that I know meets on WhatsApp but since I’ve never had … Canizares, I’m sorry, but you haven’t invited me, it’s not that I don’t want to be there, I’ve found out now,’ Guardiola said.
But Canizares has previously spoken fiercely of his disagreement with Gaurdiola’s views on Catalonia’s independence.
‘I feel very bad when he speaks badly of Spain,’ Canizares said. ‘I do not know when his brain mutated.
‘I remember that in 92, Guardiola spoke to us about politics in a very moderate way. We could even joke with affection. He was delighted by all the (Spain) call-ups. Once we ended up crying after losing.’
Guardiola has never dismissed how much he enjoyed playing for Spain, saying in the documentary: ‘I love Catalonia, my country, but I have immense affection for Spain and I keep an incredible memory of those years.
‘Although the great Alfonso and Cañizares, teammates at that time, are now very critical because I played for the national team […] I had a great time and tried to do my best for the team.’
In 2018, Guardiola was fined by the Football Association for wearing a yellow ribbon, which he said was in support of political prisoners in Catalonia.
He was hit with a £20,000 fine as FA’s rules prevented people wearing a political message.
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