Pep Guardiola still loves Franck Ribery despite criticism

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Football News

Pep Guardiola has only managed two clubs, if you don't count Manchester City, and has still collected a grand total of 21 major pieces of silverware. That success, in an unprecedented short space of time, has earned him a lot of friends in football. 

Indeed, not only has the Spaniard been incredibly successful with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but he has gone about it in what many perceive to be the right way. His teams play the kind of football not seen anywhere else in the world. 

But even Guardiola has made enemies, albeit very few of them. For starters, he is probably not on the Christmas card list in Jose Mourinho's household with the two managers famously not seeing eye to eye on either a professional or a personal level. And another man who openly dislikes him is Franck Ribery.

The French midfielder was one of the few players to come off worse during Guardiola's three-season reign at the Allianz Arena with a spell of injuries compounded by a lack of playing time. Despite a renowned world-class winger, Ribery was never afforded much chance.

Perhaps that is why the 33-year-old decided to go on the offensive in a recent interview in Spanish newspaper AS. In that interview, he called Guardiola "inexperienced" and said "he talked too much" during his time in Bavaria.

"Guardiola is a young coach with a lack of experience," the Frenchman said. "Sometimes he talked too much…football is very simple."

Guardiola's response

Naturally, Guardiola was asked to respond to the comments in his latest press conference for Manchester City, giving him an opportunity to have his own say on their relationship. But, classy as ever, all the manager could do was say he "loved" Ribery.

He said: "About Ribery I must say I love him very much. It's good that Ribery says I'm young. I'm here to learn."


Specific examples

It was a particularly impressive show of restraint from Guardiola considering Ribery described specific examples when he believed he failed Bayern Munich, even bringing up the touchy subject of his failure to win the Champions League.

Speaking of Bayern's exit to Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals, he said: “You can’t commit errors in the semi-final of the Champions League. 

"Thomas Müller didn’t play from the start and Jerome Boetang, having recovered from the injury he suffered, also wasn’t picked and had to watch the game from the stands."

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Franck Ribery
UEFA Champions League
Bayern Munich
Premier League
Gnegneri Toure Yaya
Manchester City

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