Pep Guardiola has ripped into Manchester United legends Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov for raising questions over his ability as a manager, with the City boss recalling his former Barcelona side ‘destroying’ them in the Champions League.
Both Evra and Berbatov featured for United in their chastening defeat in 2009, while the former also came out second best in the same clash in the 2011 final.
After City crashed out of the competition following their jaw-dropping collapse at the hands of Real Madrid, Evra accused Guardiola of not being able to ‘train people with personality’, and also claimed players move to the club ‘solely’ for money.
Pep Guardiola has ripped into Manchester United legends Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov
United legend Evra (R) savaged Manchester City after their Champions League elimination
Berbatov also hit out at City for lacking in concentration and focus at the Bernabeu, while Clarence Seedorf questioned Guardiola’s philosophy.
However, City have hit both Newcastle and Wolves for five since their elimination, and Guardiola hit back before the penultimate game of the season at West Ham United, where City can open up a six-point lead on Liverpool.
‘You cannot have personality because you concede two goals in one minutes after you have chances to score?’ Guardiola said.
‘And after the last four games we scored 19 goals so we have incredible personality and these kind of things? I’m sorry but I completely disagree.
Berbatov lost the Champions League final in 2008 to Barcelona, but was also criticial of City
City collapsed at Real Madrid to exit in the semi-final stage, despite their 4-3 first-leg victory
‘The same character and personality that lost in Madrid is what we have had for the last years. Specialist former players like [Dimitar] Berbatov, Seedorf and Evra and these types of people weren’t there.
‘I’ve played against them, and I didn’t see this kind of personality when we destroyed United in the Champions League final.
‘Personality is what we have done in the last five years every three days in all competitions. Maybe Liverpool is going to win all four titles or maybe just one but I’m going to say that they don’t have personality and character.
‘What you say they didn’t do an incredible season even when they lost the league by one or two points to us? We arrive until the end playing good because otherwise you don’t arrive. This is the most important thing.’
Guardiola won the Champions League twice in his time in Spain, beating United both times
Now at City, he has backed his players and hailed them for responding to the setback in style
City unveiled a statue of the club’s record goalscorer, Sergio Aguero, outside the Etihad Stadium on Friday morning on the 10-year anniversary of his title-winning goal in 2012.
Guardiola has one year left on his own contract and claimed this week that he will not make a decision on his future until the end of next season.
‘The best legacy [for me] is that we have had fun,’ Guardiola added. ‘That is the best legacy, when we are in something in our lives – it doesn’t matter if that’s professional – you have fun.
‘Football is nice because behind you is a lot of people, our fans say in that period, we were fun, we play good – this is the best legacy. Emotional, give something unique watching our games, that is the best reward.’