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PHOTO: ÁLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB

Commitment, effort, passion, implication, self-criticism and the transmission of values were just a few of the attributes associated to the name of Josep Guardiola on such a special day for the man from Santpedor. His human, personal and professional qualities have all helped to win him the biggest accolade in Catalan society.

Artur Mas: "I just ask you to continue the way you are"

"This recognition is a modest but solemn way of thanking you for all you have done, are doing and will do" said the president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas. "You are an example to follow ... My golden moment is seeing that this country is capable of creating people like you, who sets such an example, who generates confidence, who people love and who has managed to put the country at the very top. You are a solid, healthy example. I ask you to continue winning but more than anything, I ask you to continue being the man you are".

Evarist Murtra: "If we follow his example we'd be doing well"

"When I first met you I realised immediately that I was before a man who firmly believes that the end does not justify the means, that you are dignity in capital letters" said Evarist Murtra, who met Guardiola when he was just a young but promising footballer. "Pep is one of the few people I know who achieves what is most urgent (titles), what is most important (the way this is done) and what is most essential (staying loyal to the institution he represents and its founders)". At the end of his emotional speech, the former FCB director said that Guardiola's personality reflects the inherent and historical values of Catalan society, such as "the desire to create a group of friends, to work in a team and to pull together efforts." These, he claims, are the "values that make Catalonia great. He is a universal Catalan, he is one of ours. If we follow his example we'd be doing well."

Terribas and Trueba, friends and admirers

Journalist, director of TV3 and personal friend of Guardiola, Mònica Terribas, described his "vitality, courage and coherence ... he learned to live with permanent demands, which is the only way to win complacence because the things are done is more important that what they signify". Remembering his childhood, his playing days and how he came to manage FC Barcelona, Terribas highlighted "his noble spirit, his courage and his readiness to fight", which he has demonstrated in all aspects of his life.

Writer, film director and personal friend David Trueba also had a message for Josep Guardiola: "The rare presence of somebody from Madrid at an event like this goes to show just what kind of a person he is, a man who only lets into his life people that can give him something". More than his friend's virtues and character, Trueba spoke about something curious that he shares with so many people. "You have managed to make many football sceptics sense that Barça belongs to us all and it is what you do off the ball that creates the added value that so many people attribute to you".

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