La Liga

Report: Guardiola spied on players

Bayern Munich confirms deal for ex-Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola.
Bayern Munich confirms deal for ex-Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola.
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SEAL OF APPROVAL

Barcelona's ex-boss Pep Guardiola snubbed the Premier League for Bayern Munich. Here are the reason why.

According to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, ex-Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola went to extreme lengths to ensure club harmony by spying on his players via a private detective agency while with the La Liga giants.

The Spanish coach reportedly hired Metodo 3 from 2008-12 to track the personal lives of Barcelona players. Among those targeted were ex- Barca standouts Ronaldinho, Deco and Samuel Eto’o, while current star defender Gerard Pique was also monitored.

"The Metodo 3 detective agency spied on FC Barcelona players under orders from the then director of Security and now director general of Penitentiary Services for the Generalitat (autonomous government of Catalonia), Xavier Martorell,” says the report.

The report added: "During the time that Pep managed the 'Azulgranas' first team he developed a good understanding and friendship with Martorell, who willingly helped Guardiola to be informed at all times."

El Confidencial’s report suggests that inquiries to Pique’s private life began after the Spanish international started dating Colombian pop star Shakira, who he recently had a baby with. Detectives were rumored to have discovered Pique’s favorite night spots in Barcelona, where he would frequent with friends and family until the early morning.

Guardiola, who led Barcelona to 14 titles over four seasons and turned the Spanish club into arguably the best team in the world, has agreed to become the coach of Bayern Munich starting next season. Under his guidance, Barcelona dominated Spanish and European competitions with its passing game and frequent scoring from standout Lionel Messi.

Guardiola stepped down at the end of last season and is on a one-year sabbatical.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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