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Barcelona didn't need Guardiola for greatness, says Stoichkov

In the four years under Pep Guardiola, Barça won an incredible 14 trophies, and many consider them one of the greatest club sides of all time.

Barcelona didn't need Guardiola for greatness, says Stoichkov
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Hristo Stoichkov was a legend for FC Barcelona and Bulgaria. The former player is now a football pundit in the US and has made some comments about his former club that have surprised a number of people, especially that Pep Guardiola got lucky when handed the manager’s job at the Camp Nou.

Guardiola lucky, Mourinho a writer

“Barcelona was already cooked,” the former Ballon d’Or winner said, captured by the Mirror, about the moment when the now-Manchester City manager took over from Frank Rijkaard in 2008. “Pep’s work was easy, as he knew perfectly well the infrastructure of the youth system.”

“Frank Rijkaard made the squad Pep took over. Messi and other players had already debuted with Rijkaard. Spectacular things would have been achieved with Pep or without.

There was Thierry Henry, Deco, Ronaldinho, Rafa Marquez, Carles Puyol and Victor Valdes. There were a few players Pep needed to move, but Andreas Iniesta and Pedro came in, and there was more playing time for Lionel – then the team was complete.”

5 May 2012 | Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is tossed in the air by his Barça players after his last game at the Camp Nou. A 4-0 victory over local rivals Espanyol in which striker Lionel Messi scored four times to take his tally for the season to 72 goals.

In the four years under Guardiola, Barça won an incredible 14 trophies, and many people have them as contenders for one of the greatest club sides of all time.

'Smart boy' Mourinho

Before going on to win numerous titles himself, José Mourinho worked as interpreter to the late Bobby Robson. Stoichkov spoke positively of the current Spurs boss.

“He was a pretty smart boy. He looked at everything – from training and the warm-ups, to the work we did with the ball.

“Always a paper and a pen, always writing things down.”