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What did Pep Guardiola say about the grass at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium?

The Catalan coach brought up the quality of the field in his post-match interview, which he deemed as poor.

Pep Guardiola, entrenador del Manchester City, durante un partido.

Real Madrid and Manchester City went to battle at the Bernabéu and gave those watching a game that will last long in the memory. The Champions League quarter-final first leg ended 3-3 after stunning goals from both sides and after the tie, City manager Pep Guardiola spoke to the press about many things, including the state of the pitch for the game.

Guardiola was asked about the roof at the Santiago Bernabéu, an ongoing topic of debate, discussion and conversation over recent weeks, months and maybe years. “I like the sky”, he said, “but it’s true that the stadium looks brilliant.”

Why did Pep Guardiola criticise the Bernabéu grass?

He could have left it there. He could have said thank you very much and headed home. But he didn’t. He went full knee-high tackle on señor Pérez.

“Now they only need to take care of the grass, they only need to improve that. Florentino [Pérez] only has to worry about the next thing being to have a good pitch, as Madrid always have had.”

Ancelotti and Guardiola saw their sides play out a fascinating 3-3 draw.
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Ancelotti and Guardiola saw their sides play out a fascinating 3-3 draw.JAVIER SORIANOAFP

Lest we forget, this is not the worst crime regarding complaints over a pitch. It was Pep’s protégé, the man more Cruyff than Cruyff himself who complained about playing in the sun. Yes, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernández complained in 2023 about playing a LaLiga football match in the sun. In April. In Spain. Where it’s sunny.

After a goalless draw to Getafe, Xavi moaned that the pitch at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez “ruined our circulation of the ball and our positional play... they criticise me a lot for talking about the playing surface. Today everyone saw it. It’s bad for the game as a spectacle... we’re used to playing without sun, at night. It’s evident”.