The Manchester City boss says he believes that his former club will get back to the top soon as presidential elections loom
Pep Guardiola has called Josep Maria Bartomeu’s recent arrest “an uncomfortable” situation after the former Barcelona president was detained on Monday as part of an investigation into ‘Barcagate’ at Camp Nou.
Bartomeu was provisionally released on Tuesday after spending Monday in jail as the 58-year-old ex-Barca boss invoked his right not to testify.
Alongside Bartomeu, it is understood that three other arrests were made, including Chief Executive Officer of the club, Oscar Grau, former adviser to the presidency Jaume Masferrer, and head legal counsel Roman Gomez Ponti.
What did Guardiola say about Bartomeu?
“It’s an uncomfortable situation but I hope it will finish well,” the Manchester City boss said at his press conference. “He’s already innocent until the court proves he is guilty.”
In addition, Guardiola revealed that he has high hopes for his former club going forward as Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa vie for the club’s presidency in the March 7 election.
“Only I’m concerned is that in one week we’ll have a new president,” he said. “It’s a difficult situation at Barcelona but the new man needs to have the courage to lead in the next years. As many people as possible can vote and lead the best club in the world.
“I’m pretty sure they’ll come back stronger. The new president has to lead with confidence and get the fans together and that will make them the club they are. I’m looking forward to the election and, hopefully, the president will be okay.”
Guardiola’s Barcelona ties
Guardiola is regarded as one of Barcelona’s best-ever players and managers, having joined the club as a youth player in 1984.
He played for Barca until 2001, departing with five league titles to his name.
Guardiola then returned as manager of Barcelona B in 2007 before taking the reigns for the senior team one year later.
It was during Guardiola’s tenure that Barcelona put together an unmatched era of dominance, winning the treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in his first season.
In total, Guardiola won three league titles and two Champions League crowns as manager before leaving the club in 2012.