The now Manchester City coach was regarded as a liability by Barca coaches and they were willing to sell him before Cruyff intervened.
He later went on to become one of the best players of the successful Barca team, that won four consecutive league titles from 1991 and 1994. They also won the European Cup in 1992.
But Cruyff in his autobiography, which he wrote before he died in March this year, tells of how he was almost rejected.“Barca wanted to get rid of him,” Cruyff writes.“They considered him scrawny, bad defensively and ineffective in the air. What nobody saw was that he had the basic qualities to go far: he had game intelligence, speed in his execution, technique. If I hadn’t been at Barcelona, for sure he would have been sold to a Segunda Division club.”Cruyff promoted Guardiola to the Barca first team in 1990 when he was only 19.“I told him that above everything else, you have to be the boss, the one that makes the decisions and is responsible for the consequences. In that sense, Pep followed the same path and guidelines that I did,” he stated.
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