Sunday, May 6th, 2012
“Life has given me this gift. During the past four years I have been close to you [the fans] and these players. I’m privileged. I hope you, the fans, have enjoyed some good times with the team. We have felt you close to us. You do not know how lucky I am. I will miss you a lot, but I am confident that you will be in good hands [referring to the appointment of Tito Vilanova]. I must take off my seatbelt now but you all must remain seated and you’ll have a great time.” – Pep Guardiola.
There were numerous touching moments at the Nou Camp on Saturday night as the Barcelona crowd paid homage to outgoing trophy-laden coach Pep Guardiola.
From the rather impressive “T’estimem Pep!” (“We love you Pep!”) banner before the match with Espanyol until Pep Guardiola had some quiet time with his family on the Nou Camp turf, there was plenty to admire about the send off, with the only gripe being Barcelona’s fondness for Coldplay.
A couple of moments stood out with even Lionel Messi’s four-goal haul somewhat in the background as the whole stadium united as one to say “Gracies Pep.”
After Messi’s fourth goal, the Argentine and his team mates went over to the bench and “The Flea” gave Pep a hug in what was the defining image of the night. Video here & Gif above.
Following Guardiola’s farewell speech (watch it on this video with English subtitles) there was also an amusing moment as the former Barcelona number 4 showed off his funny side by scaring hard man Carles Puyol.
Video of Guardiola pretend punching Puyol is here. Picture after the jump.