Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Guardiola heads home seeking break from away day blues

19 October 2016, 10:17

Barcelona - For one of the most decorated coaches of all-time, boasting a 75 percent career win percentage and 21 trophies, Pep Guardiola's record of two wins from his last 11 away Champions League matches is an uncharacteristic stain.

Manchester City's long court of the Catalan was not just to dominate at home, but secure City's place amongst the European elite by winning the Champions League.

Despite reaching the last four for the first time in their history last season, Guardiola insists they are far from the finished article.

"If you ask me if we are ready to compete in Europe, then we are not ready," he said last month despite a stunning 10-game winning run to start his tenure.

That streak, though, was snapped on their first trip in the Champions League proper in a pulsating 3-3 draw at Celtic three weeks ago.

Guardiola summarised the madcap 'Battle of Britain' in a famously raucous Glasgow atmosphere as a "good test" of where City are away from home in Europe.

Yet, as he returns to the club that made him as a player and a coach in Barcelona on Wednesday, Guardiola and City will get a far better look into how far they have to go to be Champions League contenders.

Also read: Guardiola asks for patience after setback at Spurs

"The last decade, the last 15 years they dominate football the way they play," said Guardiola after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Everton. "Barcelona is special (in) the way they play because it is a machine."

Much of that dominance and style of play is thanks to Guardiola.

His 2008-2012 vintage side that won 14 trophies and even more hearts for its mix of intense pressing and penetrating passing is widely regarded as the best Barca team of all-time.

However, the political machinations and media demands, not to mention two years of baiting by then Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho took its toll.

"Four years as coach of Barcelona is an eternity," he said when announcing his resignation in April 2012.

"I am empty and I need to replenish myself."

- Moved on -

He did so firstly via a sabbatical in New York and then three largely successful years at Bayern Munich that lacked a crowning glory - winning the Champions League.

That he fell that step short with Bayern is due to three visits to Spain in the semi-finals for the past three seasons. Each time he left defeated without even managing to score a goal.

Under his old teammate Luis Enrique, Barcelona have moved on too. A Lionel Messi-inspired 3-0 win over Guardiola's Bayern in 2015 allowed Enrique to equal his friend's remarkable achievement of delivering the treble in his first season in charge.

The style has been tweaked too. Whereas the midfield axis of Xavi and Andres Iniesta used to provide Messi as the focal point of the Barca attack, the Spanish champions can now call upon three of the deadliest strikers in the world.

Luis Suarez and Neymar complement Messi's skill set and give Barca a counter-attacking dimension not so prevalent in the Guardiola era.

"They are three amazing players in front," added Guardiola.

"They are amazing on the counter-attack and they have a good build-up, so they are a good team."

Guardiola will be warmly welcomed by the vast majority in the stands and his old charges on the pitch, if not in the presidential box where old political divides remain.

That has much to do with the reason why Guardiola has only been back to the Camp Nou one other time than Bayern's visit in the past four years.

Sitting next to his father as a fan rather than an invited guest, Guardiola howled in astonishment at a virtuoso Messi display as Barca beat City 1-0 in March 2015.

Only a series of outstanding saves from Joe Hart prevented more severe punishment for the City that night.

Having unceremoniously expeditated England's number one for another former Barca man in Claudio Bravo, the first cracks in the Guardiola reign may begin to form if Barca prove a gulf still exists between the two on Wednesday.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...