The coach has been accused by Yaya Touré of racism. However, the Catalan has had good relations with most of the players of color throughout his career
Yaya Touré, former Manchester City player, accused his former coach Josep 'Pep' Guardiola of dispensing with his services because of his skin color. Similarly, the Ivorian said that the Catalan coach has had problems with players of color in the past, according to BBC World. However, how true is it that Guardiola has a long list of problems with African or Afro-descendant players?
It is true that Guardiola has several enemies apart from Yaya Touré and Samuel Eto'o, the most recognized being the Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Frenchman Franck Ribéry, the Belarusian Alexander Hleb, the Spaniard Bojan Krkic, the German Thomas Müller and the Croatian Mario Mandzukic . However, none of the above mentioned players is African or dark-skinned.
Guardiola may not be a very nice person for some people, but the accusations of racism against him may be considered as serious defamation and it looks like the problem of Touré could be more professional frustration towards the former Catalan player in the absence of evidence.
Africans and their problems with Guardiola
Yaya Touré said in an interview with France Football that Guardiola is often hostile to Africans. "Maybe we are not treated by him like the others. When we realize that he often has problems with Africans wherever he goes, I ask myself questions. He pretends not to have problems with players of color, he does not fall into the trap, he is too smart. He will never recognize it, but when a team with five players from this continent and who are not nationalized enter, I will send him a cake," said Touré.
The list of Afro-descendant enemies of Guardiola is headed by the Ivorian himself, because he had problems with 'Pep' since they met at FC Barcelona. Being in the Catalan club, the trainer relieved Touré of the ownership to grant it to Spaniard Sergio Busquets, which originated the enmity. Both were reunited in Manchester City and the situation was similar, because Touré was never a regular head of the Spanish coach.
The other African who had problems with 'Pep' Guardiola was Samuel Eto'o. The Cameroonian was the pupil of the Catalan coach in the 'Blaugrana' team during a single season, because the bad relationship between the two made the African striker was sold to Inter Milan. This despite having been the team's top scorer in the Spanish league. Thus, the list of Africans that are enemies of Guardiola is much shorter than what Touré said, and on the contrary are more Africans and Afro-descendants who have worked without problems with the Catalan coach.
'Pep' and his 'men of color' indispensable
Since Guardiola became coach of first division in 2008 he has directed FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City, having in each and every one of these clubs Africans and Afro-descendants of great hierarchy and great relevance in their game system .
During his coaching career the following players have presented no problems with his direction: the Malian Seydou Keita, the Dutchman of Moroccan descent Ibrahim Afellay, the Austrian of Nigerian descent David Alaba, the German of Ghanaian origin Jérome Boateng, the French nationalized Moroccan Mehdi Benatia, Senegalese-born Frenchman Bacary Sagna, Congolese Belgian Vincent Kompany, Senegalese-born German Leroy Sané and Senegalese-born Frenchman Benjamin Mendy, among others. Examples like Keita, Alaba, Kompany or Benatia, have even gained notoriety and football development under the orders of Guardiola, becoming indisputable in their national teams.
This number of players who have had no problem with Guardiola is much greater than the small list of players at odds with the Catalan coach, which would show that 'Pep' has no problems with black players with the magnitude with which Touré assured.
What is the real problem?
In the same interview with France Football, Touré said that he thinks his bad relationship with Guardiola is because of his skin color. "I have come to wonder if all this has been the cause of the color of my skin and I am not the only one who has asked this question," said the Ivorian. However, there are more dark-skinned players who have worked nicely with the Catalan coach than those who have had problems with him.
Footballers such as Martinique of French descent Éric Abidal, nationalized Jamaican Raheem Sterling, Frenchman from the Lesser Antilles Thierry Henry, Frenchman of Guadeloupe descent Kingsley Coman, French-Martinique Gaël Clichy and Brazilians Fernandinho, Danilo, Dani Alves, Gabriel Jesús and Douglas Costa, among many others, have never given a public demonstration against the current Manchester City coach. That is to say, that the assertions of Touré would lack foundations, because there are many players of dark complexion who triumphed and coexisted without difficulty with 'Pep'.
Latin American Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from "'Pep' Guardiola y las acusaciones de racismo en contra de él por Yaya Touré"