Mourinho: The False Dawn of an Era

In an alternate universe, a long time ago (four years and 5 months, to be exact)…

After two trophy-less years, the Barcelona board of directors and technical director Txiki Beguiristain came to the conclusion that Frank Rijkaard was no longer the right man for the job. After spending a long, hard summer weighing different options, they decided to give it to one of the most successful managers in football at the time, Jose Mourinho.

From the archives of the Barcelona Football Blog, we bring you his very first press conference at the Camp Nou.

Mr Mourinho, welcome to Barcelona. Is this a dream come true for you?

I want to follow a dream, yes, it’s true, but one thing is to follow the dream, another thing is to follow an obsession. I am Jose Mourinho and I don’t change. I arrive with all my qualities and my defects. Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m a special one. I am the best trainer in the world and I am Portuguese.

Your predecessor won 2 league titles and a Champion’s League trophy. Do you think you can do better?

I follow a Dutch manager and it can’t be easy when you follow a manager who thinks very differently. The difference between Rijkaard and me is that when I leave Barcelona I won’t go to Galatasaray. My history as a manager cannot be compared to his. I think he is one of those people who is a voyeur. He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families.

Uhhh…Ok. How will you get the best out of our players?

Football is a game about feelings and intelligence. The only thing I would like is to have more control of the game in terms of possession. In five years I have never had a match where my team has had less possession than the opponents. I have to train against 10 men, how to play against 10 men, because when Chelsea come here, they finish with 10. When Inter come here, they finish with 10 and I have to train to play against 10 men because it can happen again.

What about La Masía? Can you count on our youth players?

Young players are a little bit like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100% sure that the melon is good. Sometimes you have beautiful melons but they don’t taste very good.

I’m sorry… did you say melons?

It is omelettes and eggs. No eggs – no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs.

Ok, then… Let’s move on. Are you going to play beautiful football?

Football is a more beautiful game in high definition. I intend to give my best, to improve things and to create the football team in relation to my image and my football philosophy. The negative side of football. The negative side of our society. I am Mourinhista. Unhappy is a nice word. The world is competitive, aggressive and selfish.

But don’t you think our players are best suited to play an attractive style of football?

I have always said that my players are the best of the world. but players don’t win you trophies, teams win trophies. Barça might have 20 superb players but they play with 11 and often against 10. I hate to speak about individuals. The Barcelona players have tried to provoke my players.

Mr. Mourinho, I don’t understand. The Barcelona players are your players.

Exactly! We have to learn from intelligent people. What Dani Alves said, Einstein couldn’t have said better. His country was discovered by the Portuguese but we haven’t invented football. He is completely right. We have top players and, sorry if I’m arrogant, we have a top manager. If I have to rate myself, I give myself an 11 out of 10. I am absolutely sure we will be champions next season.

And what is your plan for the Champion’s League?

How do you say cheating in Catalan? I won a Champion’s League with the scandal at Old Trafford and I won a Champion’s League with the scandal at the San Siro.

How will you deal with the pressure at a team like F.C. Barcelona?

Pressure? There is no pressure. Bird Flu is pressure. No, you laugh, but I am being serious. I am more worried about the swan then I am about football. What pressure? Pressure is millions of parents around the world with no money to feed their children. I don’t know if it is the publicity for UNICEF, but there is no pressure at Barcelona.

What do you think has made you such a good manager?

I was more influenced by Barça’s philosophy than by any other coach. They were four years of my life that were absolutely fundamental. Van Gaal is worried about the referee. My team deserves to be defended against referee errors, but it does not always have to be me. I prefer not to make any comments. We have a general director and other board members, this is their job. Is Mourinho the only one who can look at the fixtures and find something very strange?

Please tell us more about the time you spent here in Catalunya.

Barcelona is a great cultural city. I will never forget the four years I was here as an assistant. The crowd is magnificent, singing “F**k off, Mourinho!” and so on….

So do you think the culés hate you?

If I am hated at Barcelona, it is their problem but not mine. Jesus Christ was not nice to everybody either. Look at my haircut. I am ready for war!


I am not that stupid to think that this hatred can be transformed into love. I respect Barcelona a lot. I will work harder, but I cannot perform miracles, I am neither Merlin nor Harry Potter. It’s just a haircut.

By Levon

Culé since way before football boots were of the neon yellow and lizard green variety, Levon is a deep thinker with increasingly shallow thoughts. He lives in Barcelona with his gorgeous wife and daughter. The lucky bastard...


  1. Why you gotta do me like this Lev? Was just gonna turn off the lappy to go to bed 🙁

    A bit from Sid Lowe’s article over at the Guardian;

    During last week’s Copa del Rey game, when some Madrid supporters had chanted his name, others responded with whistles so on the eve of the Madrid derby, Mourinho called out the fans.
    If you want to whistle me, he said, I’ll be there on the pitch at 9.20pm, alone. Whistle all you like.

    And so it was that at 9.20, he turned left out of the dressing room, headed down the tunnel and up the stairs and on to the pitch, surrounded by photographers and cameramen. And virtually no one else. The game was not kicking off until 10 and the stadium was pretty much empty. Had it been a real challenge, he would have set high noon for 9.50 instead.

    “Mourinho never hides and always shows his face,” said his assistant, Aitor Karanka, who took the post-match press conference.

    I don’t understand why Karanka is so much up into Mourinho’s ass. If he was a long time staff or asssitant of Mourinho I would understand but Karanka is a long time Madrid associate (ex-player). Why would he back someone up so much who is so controversial and who doesn’t care about his beloved club and damaging it’s reputation?

    1. Idk. Maybe Karanka wants to score a brownie. Maybe he wants to be Mou’s sidekick at his next club. Who knows why they put up with him?

      I think Pique said it best, when asked about Mourinho: “Nosotros nos comportamos con más naturalidad y de una forma coherente”

      which is loosely translated as: “we behave normally and coherently”

    2. Damaging reputation? I think the selected few so-called fans whistling their own club and coach just months after they had won their first liga in 4 years are the ones damaging reputation.

      Mourinho is only separating the fairweather fans from the ones who actually care about the club and realise that form is only temporary.

    3. There’s a difference for being good for a club’s trophy cabinet and good for its reputation however.

  2. – OMG. Cruyff sacked as adviser of Chivas. Sigh. Why he took up the job in the first place is a mystery for me. Why try to attempt to save that club when he is already heavily attached to Ajax and Barca (although not so anymore, does he still write for El Periodico NZM?).

    Atletico Madrid assistant coach German Burgos to Mourinho: “I am not Tito. I will rip your head off!”

    😆 I would love to see Mourinho attempt to poke Simeone or Burgos in the eye. Almeyda is the only one missing at Atletico bench to make it the scariest bench.

  3. Ramos spitting at Costa

    From a respected blogger at Guardian; Dreikaiserbund

    “When it comes to Ballesteros, it’s not the first time,” complained Sergio Ramos. “If he doesn’t like this sport, he can take up boxing.”

    Someone somewhere was lying. But one thing’s for sure: down the tunnel, it was kicking off. “There are people that don’t know how to accept defeat,” complained Ramos. “We went into the dressing room but there’s always one. You get tired of it because it’s not the first time, you get tired of it and you think the unsporting people should stay out of it.”

  4. @PR17

    Is this you commenting over at the Guardian? 😆

    How average did Barca look once Song replaced him? Also, Thiago is the new Keita. Employed strictly in already-game-over situations to give the ball away repeatedly.

    1. No. that wasnt me though i read the guardian blogs regularly and quite a few have views on keita along my lines.

      I rate thiago highly and i rate song too. so that is an absurd allegation.

      I am afraid of tito alienating villa.

    2. Vilanova alienating Villa shouldn’t concern you. As an FCB player, Villa has a simple obligation: play his best. As an ancillary component of that obligation, his best must be good enough to get him into the side. If it isn’t he sits. Simple as that.

      I don’t think that Vilanova has “favorites,” as some accused Guardiola of having. Guardiola had players that he believed in more than others, rather than favorites, but that’s another tale. Vilanova will always put the XI out there that has the best chance of winning. It’s up to Villa whether that XI includes him.

    3. I don’t think Villa would ever give anything other than his best. He seems a really genuine human being. I also agree that Tito doesn’t. Have players he favours more than others. I am concerned about his judgement on Villa though. He has been out for a year and his goal scoring record on his return has been pretty good, we’re all agreed he is moving well yet he’s spending most of his time on the bench. I fear. Tito is replicating Guardiola’s mistake of last year when he was slow to realise that Pique’s return was essential at the tail end of the season. We are going to need Villa scoring regularly when we hit our dip in form. We may also have to deal with a Messi-less team at some point. Who is your money on to make up the goals deficit ?

    4. I was wondering about that punctuation business ….

      I’m betting that folks like Adriano and Alba make it up. What’s weird is that Messi is, staggeringly, ahead of last year’s scoring pace but unlike last year, he isn’t forcing it all. And others are also scoring — Fabregas, Adriano, Alba. I also think that scoring will pick up from Pedro, and Villa will certainly be part of that mix.

      It seems that in this, the age of Vilanova, scoring is going to be spread out, even as Messi is going to have gaudy totals, as usual. We can also hope that Sanchez will get his crap figured out.

  5. LOL! This is hilarious! It must have taken you ages to find all these old quotes and cobble them together. The frightening thing is that I imagine this is pretty much exactly what he would have come up with up if Barça had hired him.

    1. Finding was not that hard actually there are pages and pages filled with Mourinho quotes 🙂 It’s really a shame that 1) he talks so much about the referees and the calendar 2) he has to constantly put others down…

      I read an interview with him a whiiiile back and he came off as a really down-to-earth and intelligent person. He’d probably be quite likeable if he weren’t a football coach :s

  6. want to ask the question to all of you.

    how many of you wanted pep over mou at that time?honest answer.

    i was all for pep,because of the garbage he comes up with.

    credit to mou though,he is quite an entertainer and charming(when in good mood)and has some way with words.”park the bus”,”eggs and omlettes”,”cats and lions”.if he wasnt such a narcissist ,think i may found him much more enjoyable than pep.

    and @Levon a belated congratulation.

    1. Didn’t know FCB existed at the time (remember, most Americans don’t). Happy things worked out the way they did.

    2. As a Yank I’d have to disagree w/your, “remember, most Americans don’t” comment. It may be that way in the city you live in, but I live in the Midwest and there is FCB, ManU, Chelski, Bayern, EE, gear, car decals, flags, etc. in lot of places. The MLS was 2nd in attendance to the NFL out of professional sports in the US. Not everyone of those fans translates to European football knowledge, but many of them do. This idea that Americans are completely football ignorant annoys me. It may have been true in the 80’s and even 90’s, but since the 2000’s football has been a GLOBAL game. T.V. and Internet have changed the landscape for better and worse. So, on behalf of American’s everywhere who love football and have followed it for years, please don’t lump us into one category.

    3. As a Yank, myself:
      You can be annoyed all you want, but I stand by my original statement.

      1. “most” implies > 50%. But I am talking about conservatively 80%.

      2. Yes, there are Americans who love football. But we are the minority.

      3. I see decalls too. Maybe once a week to once a month. I pay attention to such things as I get exited when it happens. And I do a crapload of driving—in an area with a relatively high Latino population and it’s still rare.

      4. The last DC United game I went to was poorly attended.

      5. Most of the people I come accross, aside from knowing about the world Cup, are totally ignorant of the existance of our club.

      6. Did I lump us into one category? No! I said “most”.

      7. If this team/league/sport were so damn popular, we wouldn’t have such a hard time getting the cable providers to carry the new network. They be falling all over each other for the chance to cater to such a large market share.

      8. Sorry for the tone of this, but like deserves like. And I’m in a p*ssy mood right now and will probably regret this tone and language eventually. But for now, even without proofreading, I’ll hit the submit comment box.

    4. Aren’t you from the midwest? It has been my experience that soccer has been gaining popularity primarily in the Northeast and on the west coast (along with heavily Latino areas of the country).

      Strangely this also seems to coincide with states that went blue in the presidential election – this could be wholly a figment of my imagination.

      Have to admit my outlook is biased though, as my brother travels around the country to play (and will be matriculating to play at Carnegie Melon next fall) and so I’m surrounded by people who love the sport.

      As for number 8, I agree. I’d like to buy a vowel, but I can’t decide which one.

    5. Calvin, I’m from Indianapolis. All I can say is from my experience here and traveling as a sales rep throughout the state and state of Ohio & KY is that I see more gear and decals than once a week or MONTH! I also go to pubs where the PL and Liga are supported quite significantly. I think mom4 is from Baltimore which explains the lack of support shown. That’s why WE ended up with the COLTS! lol. Our Latino population isn’t even large compared with a lot of Western and Southern states, so that is not what I’m seeing. I think mom4 is speaking from experience. She may not see support or have pubs to go to to experience support. However, I know the East Coast is gaining support because Boston, N.Y., New York, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia have a large football supporting base. MLS would not be looking at adding a 2nd N.Y. MLS franchise if there wasn’t support and adding interest. There’s been talk of Indianapolis getting a franchise soon. So, that may explain what I see. I don’t know if Baltimore has a franchise. I doubt it based on what mom4 says she sees.

    6. I admit, I’m not as well traveled as I want to be so my thoughts could be completely wrong.

      Fact is, soccer (football) is much more popular in the US than it was even 10 years ago.

    7. Balimore/ DC metro area, Calvin. And yes, it is gaining in popularity here, but “gaining in popularity” isn’t the same as “being popular”. Most(there’s that word again) people look at me like I have two heads if the subject comes up. Most I’ll get is “Oh, that’s nice. My husband watched the World Cup. Was your team in it (yes, that wtheck comment was actually said to me)? He stopped watching once the USA lost”

      Thanks Blitzen. Have some chocolate and churros:

      Messiah 10: Sorry for my snarkiness, but as I said to Calvin, “gaining in popularity” is not the same as “being popular”. Most, meaning the majority of people, don’t know a club named F.C. Barcelona exists so I stand by my statement. But, I’m glad it’s gaining popularity. The closest MLS team to us is DC United. But even as the MLS may be gaining some ground too, it is still a niche market. You must be blest with knowing/hanging with/or meeting so many football fans.

    8. Oh, we travel to DC every once in a while to catch a game with the penya there.

      I think you are focused on the gains. I am speaking about those poor lost souls who have yet to see the light 🙂 . And they are the vast majority still. (Heck, sadly most of the kids in a Spanish class I just took couldn’t pick out Spain on a map (I kid you not. This was at a communty college) much less tell you where Barcelona was.

    9. Have to agree with mom. I teach HS in the SF Bay area (pretty diverse school), and there are maybe 2 kids out of 30 that even remotely care about football. A few of the Mexican kids follow European clubs, and there are 4 random non-Latino fanatics out of 3000 kids. Hell, even most of the varsity girl players have no clue about club football.

    10. Didn’t want Mou. Had heard of Pep doing so well with Barca B and at the time Rikjaard had been “mentally gone” for a few months along with some of the players…

      Interesting about Valencia from Sid Lowe’s latest:

      “At a club where the season tickets are the second most expensive in the league behind Real Madrid”

      I would never have assumed anyone but Barca would be second behind RM!!

    11. I can’t imagine many culés favoring Mou at the time. Apart from his negative playing style, the battles we had with his Chelsea (and his comments to the press regarding Rijkaard, Messi and by extension Barça) had already made him a pretty hated figure at the Camp Nou…

    12. Believe it or not, there were plenty of cules quite ready and willing to put all that aside in the quest for silverware, after not having won anything for 2 seasons. Mourinho was a hot commodity and a proven winner. Guardiola was a popular figure in the stands, but a huge gamble as a coach. It still amazes me that Laporta had the cojones to make that call.

    13. Yeah, I wasn’t one of them because I’ve always hated him, but many cules were wanting him pretty badly. Pep’s appointment didn’t really dazzle the cule masses. Even w/his legendary status. Cules wanted to know how that translated to management success.

  7. 3 things:

    1. 😆

    2. Bullet dodged.

    3. I doubt I’d be here typing this had he become our manager. I would have never fallen in love with the club, the team, or the sport.

    1. Ya know, Lev, rumor has it that Santa Claus has run out of coal. He’s giving all the bad boys and girls Steelers jerseys in their stockings. 😀

  8. The truth? I didnt know mou was being contacted by barca at the time…yeah i’d have chose him over pep as we really needed a trophy-winning manager at the time…i only had knowledge of pep and i knew he was doing great with the B team after their promotion…the other names i heard at the time were arsene wenger and guus hiddink.

  9. I’ve read articles on this site that set my brain spinning, trying to re-examine and re-compute what I thought I’d known.
    I’ve read articles on this site that moved my heart, made me smile, made me frown, made me hurt, made me dance.

    I do not disrespect any of those pieces by any of those talented writers when I say that this is my new favorite article at BFB. It appealed to my sense of wit/humor that much.

    Thank you, Levon. Sincerely.

    1. wow, thank you for that beautiful compliment. I hope one of them will write you a new favorite article soon, in fact I’m pretty sure of it!

      Besides, Mou should get the credit for this article. All I did was ask the questions :p

  10. I was so pissed to hear Mourinho being linked to Barca. Yeah he might bring publicity to our club but based from what I’m saw at Chelsea, he is a defensive coach. So I thought he didn’t suit Barca at all tactically.

    I was hoping for Van Basten.

    But Guardiola got the job. Was skeptical since he’s so young. But oh boy.


    4310 Adamsville Road
    Laredo, TX 78040

    Date 4 December, 2012

    144 South Maple Ave
    Ridgewood, NJ

    RE: Letter of Intent to Sue
    Account 25478/Reference 3B

    Dear Author Levon/

    This letter serves as the formal notice of my intent to file a lawsuit against for my client José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, currently residing in Madrid, Spain.

    This first notice is hereby sent electronically to An interview was published on your website on 3-December-2012 allegedly involving my client. This defamation suit seeks explanation as to why my client should not proceed with the lawsuit.

    If you wish to resolve this matter without court action, please inform me on behalf of my client within 3 days. If I do not hear from your company, I will initiate a lawsuit.

    Your prompt attention is appreciated ,
    James C. Elliott
    Elliott, McKenzie and Flyer

    1. You Sir Levon (the accused) have won my accolades with this creatively brilliant masterpiece! Sadly my illustrious client doesn’t seem to see the light side of it. 😉

      He wants to proceed the lawsuit at an American court as he sees himself managing LA Galaxy very soon. Sooner than you expect!

  12. The horror…the horror of having him at barca…..
    The only +ve note of having him is that barca wont be tagged with stupid names UEFAlona etc etc. Good manager but saying “the other team” this that , the refree, UEFA blah blah blah, u just wish he’d shut up

  13. i would actually miss Mou. His teams made barca reach that extra level. New coach might be gentlemanly and all that but i dont think anybody can match the result focus that Mou had. But the good thing is all this bickering can stop.

    All this talk about madrid being EE just detracts from fact that madrid have similar support base as us. Maybe the socis were shamed by Mou’s antics, lack of class, constant sniping and whingeing, and wanted a return to sunny days of del bosque or antic or boskov.

    1. As much as he disgusts me, I’m kinda thinking the same thing… However, I don’t think our players will need him to motivate ours anymore. What I miss is that he will usually get his tactics completely wrong when we play M*drid.

  14. Thank heavens Laporta had the gonads to go with the unproven Guardiola. We might have won, but one things for sure, Barca would be as hated as they are loved now unanimously, under Sourinho and I wouldn’t have found love in football.
    We’d have undoubtedly not even heard of Busquets, Pedro and the host of brilliant players that pep presented to the world. Spain would not have won the world cup..
    And most importantly he’d have shat on the club before leaving it a stinking mess.

    1. True, but just think how impressive Messi’s defensive contribution as a right winger could have been! And Zlatan surely would’ve won a Ballon D’Or by now!! 😉 😉

    2. It is doubtful the club would have seriously considered hiring Mourinho, for the reasons that are all so very clear. This is probably one of the things that drove Laporta taking a risk on Guardiola, Mourinho’s unsuitability for our approach to the game.

      It’s also worth noting that Mourinho isn’t a fool. He beat us to the Liga title last season, and has had success in every place he has gone. So it is doubtful that he would stick Messi at a point where his defensive contributions would be meaningful. As for Ibrahimovic, in a world in which there is Messi and C. Ronaldo, it’s doubtful he will ever win a Ballon d’Or. But that would be true irrespective of who was coaching our club.

    3. Apparently the reasons for not hiring Mourinho had nothing to with his approach to the game, but everything with how he “represents” the club.

      I think he would have adapted to Barcelona’s style more than the other way around. Apparently both Soriano and Beguiristain came away very much impressed by his gameplan, after meeting him in Lisbon. When they asked him if he would curb his “aggressive” media style Mourinho said he wouldn’t change his personality…

    4. No question. When I say “approach to the game,” it’s wholistic. I have no doubt that Mourinho has the coaching ability to win with our players. The question would be winning without being a big, giant douche, which is apparently impossible for him. So at the end of his 3-year cycle, we’re left with a broken club and infighting players.

  15. Btw, Athletico losing to real, what do you guys think? I didn’t watch the game just the highlights but I heard it wasn’t that entertaining.When are we playing athletico? Or have we already played them? I’ve watched a few matches only this season so I’m a bit clueless….

    1. Sunday the 16th (December) at the Camp Nou!

      Pretty poor game, neither side put much in the way of an offense together (Atleti seemingly came to defend and foul). A good FK from Cristiano ruined that gameplan (though dumbest of handballs but the opposition player to give away the opportunity) and a 2nd goal came later on through a counter-attack.

      Diego Costa barged into Pepe, moved his head into Ramos’ a little, Sergio spat on Diego Costa…referee didn’t seem to notice/care too much…handbags between the two sets of benches, bit of a let-down overall.

      Atleti didn’t look at all like a team capable of challenging for the title (though a last minute injury to their first choice LB probably didn’t help) and I can only hope for the same level of performance when they play Barca next weekend!

    2. That match was crap. Atletico just didn’t have the horses. And if they did, they didn’t play with the belief that they did. So it was just a kickfest, with plenty of ill temper to go ’round. The only player who really came to play was Wrongaldo, and he was decisive. Could easily have had a hat trick.

      The ATM challenge doesn’t appear to be real. We play them weekend after this one. Frankly, Betis worries me more than ATM does.

  16. This news either slipped out of everyone’s radar here or I just missed it.

    SAF & David Gill met up with Pep in US during the US Open and they offerd Pep a contract.

    1. I can see Pep at Man Utd. SAF is certainly an admirer of Guardiola’s Barcelona. It will be very interesting to see what Pep could do with that team. Replicating the success he had at Barça would be pretty much impossible.

      All the same, while this story certainly makes more sense than Pep being reunited with Ibrahimovic at PSG, I still don’t believe it, simply because I don’t believe SAF will retire this summer.

    2. I just look at the players at Man United, and I don’t understand why Pep would want to go there. He’s have to reform basically the entire team to get them playing his style.

      They are so low on midfielders that Rooney is being trained to play there!

    3. Agreed. They don’t have CL winning team. They are treading water. No midfield. I watched a programme last night on Mourinho. Made me hate him even more but I was struck by SAF’s almost hero worship of him. I know SAF is one of the least likeable and most aggressive of the EPL managers but it had me thinking Mourinho has a spot there at the end of the season.

    4. That’s not such a big stretch. Rooney likes to play in the “hole” anyway. Of all the ManU players, he is probably the one most able to adapt. And Scholes, of course.

    5. Well, I would prefer Pep to choose a historic team like Man Utd, rather than the team with the most euros / best players. If we are looking at players, where would he go? EE is not an option. He might go to City or Chelsea, either of which I would hate! Maybe Bayern… although it is hard to envision him in Germany. Milan has been rumored, although they don’t exactly have any top players either.

    6. You always report these rumours as if they are established facts.

      FACT: SAF met up with Pep when he was in New York during the US Open.

      RUMOUR: Pep was offered a contract at Manchester United.

      See the difference? I am certain they asked what Pep’s short- and long-term plans are. I am equally certain that Pep told them exactly what he has been telling the whole world: “I’m on vacation, I’m not making a decision on anything until next year.”

    7. Blitzen, you should give barca96 one of your blitzen awards. Eg.blitzen award for- The post that made the special one cringe
      (Frankly, I wouldnt be surprised to see him manage one of the manchester halves. *The only thing that would give me a heart attack is mou getting fired and pep going to real, which would make a good joke any day*. If the rumors that mou wanted to replace sir alex is true *and we all know Roman Abramovich hounding pep*, I would rather have pep at old trafford instead. Last heard AC milan are also interested in pep. Milan, manchesters, bayern, chelsea…pep has too many options. I just hope he chooses wisely.

  17. @Levon

    I’d also like to see Pep at a team with some history, even though it looks to me like Man City or PSG are currently the most likely destinations.

    I wish he could go work with a club that has history but isn’t one of the top 5-10 clubs in Europe right now so he could work on a project over several years and build the team without too much pressure, even though I know that isn’t realistic.

    My true wish is that at some point in his career Pep puts in some serious time coaching Ajax.

    1. Although I could probably get behind Pep at Arsenal as well. Seeing him build a team around Wilshere would be interesting.

    2. Ajax could be interesting, although they currently have a really good team in place with Bergkamp, Jonk, Overmars and Frank de Boer. The problem at Ajax is no longer the organization, but the fact that the good players will never stay there, as opposed to youth products of say, Barcelona, Man U or even Arsenal.

      Besides…as much as I would be disappointed if he chose Man City or Chelsea, I can’t say I wish him that much success outside of Barcelona… Just like any player who leaves.

      What if he went to Boca, River, Fluminense or Santos? That would be interesting.

    3. Nope. Chicago Fire. He has visited Chicago, and loves the city, saying “I would very much like to coach here. I have been to the local elementary schools, and the youth systems in place will assure a fine foundation from which to build. And they talk funny in New York.”

    4. Nope again – Earthquakes, but I still probably couldn’t stand all the pointless heading, poor touches, and sloppy passing that masquerades as footie in MLS.

    5. hmm-huhh, you are both wrong.

      Josep Guardiola visited Venezuela 2 years ago and confessed his desire to one day coach Futbol Club de Caracas.

      According to Pep: “During a female world cup softball game, the Chinese short stop got hit in the leg by a stray bullet. She later died in a hospital. I would like my next team to be a team of hard men. Nowhere in the world are professional athletes toughened like here.”

  18. Squad for the Benfica match: Valdes, Pinto, Montoya, Pique, Sergi Gomez, Puyol, Planas, Adriano, Busquets, Song, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Thiago, Rafinha, Messi, Villa, Deulofeu, Tello.

    Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Pedro, and Alba are rested (did I miss anyone?)

  19. so first 3 possible opponents are porto, arsenal, and ac milan. the other 3 will be determined tomorrow. but either juve or chelsea, and possibly bayern munich will be added to that list. reads like a list of teams that could/should have finished first in their group, historically. but these are all teams finishing in second.

    man city, out of europe. ajax beat them to europa. hahahaha

    1. instead, we have PSG, schalke, malaga and dortmund finishing 1st in their groups. oh, and shaktar. not bad teams, but i wonder when any of these teams won a CL group before hahaha

    2. pleased to see many strong top teams heading to the next round as secondplaced. that leaves many possibility for great draws 🙂

      i want porto mainly due their amazing stadium 😉

  20. Great post, Levon!

    So far enjoyed all your contributions here but this one is really special haha.. made me lough, love it!

    All i do wish for tomorrows game is a motivated Jonathan dos Santos rocking the CL and increasing his market value 😉
    Glad to see Sergi Goméz and Planas making it in the Squad while the former has still chances the latter lost the train. Such a pity always thought he could progress to the first team.

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