A bit like Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, Barcelona’s great manager Pep Guardiola has faltered under his heavy burden. “I’m drained,” he said at his emotional valedictory press conference on Friday as star players like Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta looked on helplessly with tears in their eyes.
Guardiola has been good news throughout his career. A passionate, intelligent Catalan, he learned the game from its Dutch source and took tiki-taka – or “total football” – to new levels of perfection. The numinous football Barça played in his time was inspirational, and his sudden loss to football – after successive defeats to Chelsea in the Champions League and bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish league – is a cause for grief.… Seguir leyendo »