Martí Perarnau: “Guardiola needs to be loved” | Soccer | Sports

Guardiola’s biographer Martí Pererbau poses in a cafe in Madrid.Andrea Comas

Master of the ventral roller, Martí Perarnau (Barcelona, ​​68 years old) broke the Spanish high jump record before dedicating himself to journalism. He worked at RTVE, Radio Barcelona and Antena 3, prior to the Moscow Games in 1980. It was in the nights of that Olympic village of the boycott and the Cold War where he joined the adventures of the water polo team. Among the swimmers, Manel Estiarte stood out, one of the best water polo players in history. “He was 18 and I was 25,” recalls Perarnau, “and that’s where we met: playing the hooligan.” From those debaucheries an opportunity arose. In 2013, Estiarte, Pep Guardiola’s right-hand man, supported his idea of ​​writing a book about the daily life of the most influential soccer coach of the century. Last November it was published God save Pepthird volume of a unique trilogy in the history of sports journalism.

Ask. It is the first time that someone tells the story of the reference coach of a sport that concentrates so much attention living day after day in the sanctum sanctorum of the teams he directs, in this case Bayern and Manchester City. What is the sanctum sanctorum of a football team?

Answer. The locker room in which for a while women and men undress physically and spiritually and become other people, which are the footballers. Normally different from those we believe from the outside because we idolize them, or we hate them.

P. Why did Guardiola open the door for him?

R. Estiarte has developed a theory: we caught Pep with his defenses low. Estiarte is the essential collaborator. He told me: “I told Pep: ‘Let him see everything and write what he wants. If we do not influence him in anything or suggest anything, 80% will be positive. That benefits you.’ And I think that’s how it is. This book obviously has negative things, errors, screw-ups, blunders. But it has more positive than negative.

P. Guardiola creates communities of friends and collaborators who accompany him. Does he do it because he feels insecure?

R. I wouldn’t say he’s a self-assured man; No, I would say that he has more uncertainties than certainties. More doubts than assurances. And I think that is one of the drivers of his progress. Constantly doubting whether he is really on the right path. Another of his great driving forces is constant self-criticism. We won the game, yes, but… We lost the game, yes, but… We won by a landslide, yes, but… That is constant and causes very few spaces for celebration. Contrary to what we normally think: “I just won 5-0, I’m so happy, I’m going to enjoy the moment.” He doesn’t enjoy it. He takes advantage of the moment to try to take another step forward.

P. Pep leaves a phrase about success: “None of us are like we were on the first day.” What does it mean?

R. One of the keys to his success is permanent change, in the game, in team management, personally. Why are you leaving Barça? Why are you leaving Bayern? Why didn’t he stay in the Bundesliga for ten years in a wonderful club where he had everything? You can only understand Pep’s career if you understand that for him change is essential. He is bored. He wants to feel alive.

P. Are you concerned about creating an aesthetic effect?

R. It does not pursue aesthetic or plastic perfection. Look for the effectiveness and perfection of the game action.

P. Do you believe in a football ethic?

R. Ethics? It doesn’t have that aspect of defining what a good or bad game is. He greatly respects game models that are radically different from his own. They are almost the ones he respects the most because they are the ones who oppose him.

P. Guardiola has won 37 trophies since 2009, an unusual case of longevity. What is his motivation now?

R. In important moments he told me: “Look, Martí, what difference does it make to have two more trophies in a display case?” Obviously he wants to win, but he says “I want to continue living this passion every day of continuing to train and do those micro-trainings with my players and to be able to hug them and be able to love them and for them to love me.” He needs to be loved. He has no sophistication. Putting on his boots and touching the grass is what gets him out of bed, even if it’s pouring in Manchester.

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