Gerard Piqué has pointed to José Mourinho’s pre and post-game press conferences as contributing factors to why Pep Guardiola left Barcelona to manage Bayern Munich.
Speaking to Gary Neville for Sky Sports, the Barcelona defender recalled how Guardiola struggled to deal with the off-field drama often directly caused by his opposite at Real Madrid.
“Mourinho, in press conference, you know how he is, his style,” Piqué began.
“For Guardiola, at some point it was too much. It was more important sometimes what happened outside of the pitch than what was happening on the pitch.
“I remember, at the end of the day, Guardiola left, because at some point – I mean, Mourinho and Madrid won the league that year – but I’m sure that part of the reason (he left) was that, with Mourinho, it was too much.
“Every day, with the press? He didn’t like it.”
Though often silent in response, the now-Manchester City boss did once famously remark: “I try to learn from José on the pitch, but I prefer to learn as little as possible from him off the pitch.”
Their rivalry was rekindled in England when Mourinho took over at Manchester United, and again at Tottenham, where those usual media-fueled provocations resumed.
However, looking at their head-to-head record, the Portuguese coach has only managed to best Pep on six of 23 total meetings.