Guardiola after the press conference at the Camp Nou / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Josep Guardiola explained the decision process behind naming Tito Vilanova as FC Barcelona's new manager during the Cup Final prematch press conference. Just before diving into the topic he explained that “I’ve given 546 press conferences, which is about 272 hours in front of you guys, in these the 4 years that we’ve been together. That’s 11 straight days of talking. During this whole time I’ve tried to achieve one objective: credibility. I may have made mistakes along the way and I may have been spot on, but my goal was to always be honest.”
He added: “with that said, I’ve heard that Pep needs to come out and talk about his relationship with Tito.” And that’s exactly what he did: “in November I had lunch with Zubizarreta and he asked me what I thought about naming Tito to the head manager job. I told him that it was a great idea. When we played Chelsea, when they eliminated us, I asked Tito to come into my office and I asked him what he thought about being manager of FC Barcelona. He didn’t know [we had been talking about it], and it was I that notified him.”
Guardiola also disclosed that he told the newly appointed manager “to do what he thought best.” Guardiola went on to say the two major reasons Tito got the job: “I couldn’t tell him anything else, he’s the person that has helped me be the manager I am today. The most important thing, seeing that life has challenged him, that people haven’t seen how much he’s gone through. He thought about it, he felt strong enough, and he decided to move forward. We’ve known each other for 13 years, and the person that feels the need to step aside is me.” When asked to verify the rumor that he didn’t like the fact that Tito was announced as the new manager during the press conference where he announced his departure, Guardiola said: “I’m not the person to tell the Club what it needs to do. The Club gives the orders, and if they decide to name Tito, who am I to say otherwise?”
The Barça manager also talked about the article written by Salvador Sostres in El Mundo: “I spoke with Salvador after the article was published. He knows that it isn’t true. I told the President that I was leaving and that I’d step aside, nothing more. Within the Azulgrana world I’m stepping aside. I would never denigrate a President [of the Club]. The education and manners that his house and my parents taught me does not allow for me to do seomthing like that. I’ve had a magnificient relationship with Laporta and also with President Rosell. I’m eternally greateful to both of them for allowing me to work. I’ve told both of them that I’m leaving, that I’m no longer around, and that I’m stepping aside. They shouldn’t use my name for this.”
He insisted that “I’m eternally grateful to the Presidents Laporta and Rosell equally, because they allowed me to do my job in the Club of my dreams. When it comes to everything else, I want them to know that I’m leaving, to leave me out of it.”
"I had lunch with Zubizarreta and he asked me what I thought about naming Tito to the head manager job. I told him that it was a great idea"
"Tito is the person that has helped me be the manager I am today"