Pep Guardiola’s former teammate Santiago Canizares denies Manchester City boss was snubbed from WhatsApp group due to political views

Pep Guardiola found out he had not been included in a WhatsApp group chat with his 1992 Spanish national teammates. Cañizares explains why.

Pep Guardiola

Guardiola’s group chat omission

Pep Guardiola was an incredibly talented footballer before he ever became the world-renowned manager he is today. A world-class Barcelona midfielder, Guardiola went on to become the most successful Barcelona coach in the modern era and orchestrated the dominance over Europe across his 4 years in Catalonia.

He won the award for the 1992 Olympic Games player of the tournament and was in a squad which included a Valencia keeper, Santi Cañizares.

There has been some controversy regarding the absence of Guardiola in a WhatsApp group chat made up of members of the squad who played during the 1992 tournament.

Cañizares spoke to Spanish media outlet Marca about the City coach’s omission.

“The first thing, that the WhatsApp group has nothing to do with the political issue,” Cañizares said. “It struck me that he was not there. And I apologised because he is not there for this bull**** because he’s the Manchester City manager.”

“I can’t invite him to the group because I’m not an administrator, I don’t have his mobile and he himself says he doesn’t have WhatsApp.”

Henry Guardiola

Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola gives instructions to his player Thierry Henry during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Osasuna at the Camp Nou Stadium on March 24, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 2-0. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

There was a need to explain that Pep Guardiola has not been included in the group for these very normal reasons because of comments Cañizares had made about Pep’s association with Catalan independence.

“In 1992, and I am going political, in Barcelona flags of Spain were carried and it was possible to talk about political ideas and he was already exposing his ideas and I mine,” he continued.

“But now the politicians have led us to a radicalised society. Our society has taken the bait and he himself took it when he spoke of Spain as an oppressive state and that is why, as a Spaniard and for Alfonso [former Real Betis striker], he offends us.”

“That is what we recriminate him for, nothing else. And now I like him to say that he loves Catalonia. There is no problem, but now he says he is fond of Spain. That is very different.”

WhatsApp to politics

Cañizares also revealed that many other players have also left the WhatsApp group from the 1992 squad including current Spain boss Luis Enrique.

“Many tired players have left the groups from that group, such as Luis Enrique, Abelardo, Alfonso, Kiko, there are still enough, but not all: Solozábal, Giner, Lasa, Soler, Vidal, Ferrer. Let no one interpret that the WhatsApp group is a type of friction or political connotation,” he said.

Guardiola has revealed that he now knows of the group chat and says that he was not invited prior to the above statements from Cañizares.

“We had an incredible group at Barcelona ‘92 that I know meets on a WhatsApp group but I have not had nothing,” Guardiola said. “Cañizares, I’m sorry, but you haven’t invited me. It’s not that I don’t want to be in it. I’ve been informed about it now.”

Pep Guardiola at Barcelona

BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 22: FC Barcelona head coach Josep Guardiola (C) speaks prior to the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli on August 22, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

The biggest focus around Catalonia right now in regards to football is the upcoming Barcelona presidential election which is set to take place at the end of the current month. There are many candidates in the running for it including former president himself Joan Laporta.

Due to the previous link to Guardiola, with Laporta presiding over his tenure and being the man to promote him to first-team coach, the rumours of a possible return in the future will likely be ever-present but seemingly not in the next couple of years after the city manager signed a new contract.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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