Guardiola opens up about his love of music and other interests

Pep Guardiola has spoken about his love of music, other interests and influences in a wide-ranging interview with BBC Radio 5 Live.

Here, Football Paradise picks out some of the highlights.

Music

Guardiola picks out a number of his favourite songs.

‘Your Song’ by Elton John has been a favourite since he was a teenager a Barcelona. “One of my dreams is to have a concert from Elton John, especially this song,” he said.

Oasis’ ‘Don’t look back in anger’ has particular resonance as it became a symbol of Manchester’s response to last year’s terror attack in the city. It is also played often in the City dressing room and became a musical backdrop to last season’s outstanding title-winning campaign. “It’s a masterpiece. Every time we go out we always sing this song together, I love it,” he said.

‘The Healing Day’ by Bill Day is a track Guardiola finds comforting when he is at home, escaping from the pressures of his job. “It’s the perfect song to stay at home when you read a book, being with the kids and listening,” he said. “Every man has his own escape and when I am exhausted, immediately it is home.”

Guardiola is also a big fan of Frank Sinatra, picking out ‘New York, New York’ and ‘I’ve got you under my skin’. Guardiola said of Sinatra: “He was a fighter, he had a work ethic. He was a machine, it was not just a talent. He was incredible.”

‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles is another particular favourite. He said: “Is there someone that doesn’t love this song? I always remember this song from when I lived with flatmates in Barcelona.”

Other songs such as ‘Fiesta’ by Joan Manuel Serrat and ‘Amor Particular’ by Lluis Llach remind him of his early life.

Meeting people

Guardiola feels he has learned a lot by meeting and speaking to people from all walks of life. He said: “Always you believe that people who are good in their business and their talent, their creativity, that always you can spend time with them, always you can take something and use it in your personal or professional life. I’ve met extraordinary people and I’ve learned a lot, people who are not famous, not artists. You can learn much more from the middle or low class sometimes than the high class.”

Golf

Guardiola is a keen golfer
Guardiola is a keen golfer (Tim Goode/PA)

Guardiola is a known lover of golf. He was actually playing with world number 12 Tommy Fleetwood on the day City’s title success was confirmed last season. “When I try to relax the most is when I play golf,” Guardiola said. “It is the only place people don’t look at me. I can walk because the people in front are 150 yards, the people behind 150 yards. You can play with your father, son, your grandfather, friends, wife, even play with Tommy Fleetwood. It is the only way I can break my (routine).”

Cruyff

The late Johan Cruyff was a big influence on the young Guardiola
The late Johan Cruyff was a big influence on the young Guardiola (PA Archive)

A lot of Guardiola’s footballing philosophy was formed playing under Johan Cruyff at Barcelona. “He helped me to love this game, to love football,” he said. “The way he saw football was so attractive. He was like a spiritual father but he was so rough, so tough, you cannot imagine.”

Living in Manchester

Guardiola and his family are happy living in Manchester city centre
Guardiola and his family are happy living in Manchester city centre (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola is happy in Manchester, where he lives in the city centre because his family feel “more comfortable” there. The weather does not bother him but he does admit, “I would like to see the sky”. “The rain is not the problem for me, it is the absence of light,” he said. He added that United fans treat him “quite well”.

Business interests

Along with City chairman Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain, Guardiola has invested in a Catalan restaurant in Manchester city centre but he insists he is not going into business. “It is not my restaurant,” he said. “I have a minimal share. I am not going to retire for that – but the restaurant is really good!”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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