Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has hit back at Patrice Evra’s claims that he is not able to ‘train people with personality’ following their Champions League semi-final exit.
Manchester United legend Evra, who has now turned to punditry, believes City’s current side are sorely lacking in leaders, despite them bouncing back from heartbreak to beat Newcastle and move a step closer to the Premier League title.
The former left-back has also labelled City as a team ‘based on money’ and even claimed that players who move to the Etihad do so solely for their lucrative deals.
Pep Guardiola hits back at Patrice Evra’s claims that he ‘can’t train people with personality’
Evra (left) took a swipe at Guardiola following City’s Champions League exit to Real Madrid
Guardiola, however, has hit back at Evra’s recent claims by insisting he can reel off a list of big personality players he has managed at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now City.
He also jokingly stated that perhaps Evra is being so bold with his comments to earn a job back at his former club United.
The Spaniard said: ‘Maybe [Patrice] Evra is right or maybe he’s doing a good quote to come back to Manchester United to work there.
‘I’ve had nice, incredible players in my past at Barcelona, Bayern, Man City. I could give a good list in terms of personality and character. Most of them have won World Cups, European, UCL’s and leagues.’
Guardiola insists he is willing to show Evra the personality and character in his City squad
The 51-year-old also responded to the defender’s claims that his current City side lacks leadership and personality.
He added: ‘Patrice – if we were together, I would show you the personality and character of my players right now that we have, absolutely.’
These comments all came after Evra took a swipe at Guardiola following City’s Champions League exit to Real Madrid – as they looked set to reach the final before a late comeback saw them miss out on a trip to Paris later this month.
‘Manchester City needs leaders, but Guardiola doesn’t want leaders,’ the 40-year-old said, via Marca. ‘He doesn’t want personality. He’s the leader.
‘That’s why when they’re in trouble they don’t want to…
‘They don’t have anyone on the pitch to help them.’
He added: ‘He chooses his teams like that, he can’t train people with personality. He did it at Barcelona, but he builds his team to control everyone.
‘When things go wrong, he always decides.’
Guardiola has a history of falling out with players.
At Barcelona, the tactician brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic into his technically-gifted side to add another dimension to their attack, although their relationship took a turn for the worse.
Towering frontman Ibrahimovic grew tired of what he believed was favouritism towards the then 22-year-old Lionel Messi, and was later shipped out to AC Milan.
Writing in his autobiography, he said: ‘I yelled, “You have no balls!” at him and probably worse things than that.
‘You are s***ting yourself because of Jose Mourinho. You can go to hell!”
Guardiola endured a fall-out with talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his Barcelona days
Yaya Toure also accused the manager of ‘having problems with Africans wherever he goes’
Yaya Toure and Guardiola also have long-held animosity. In a 2018 interview in France Football magazine, the now-retired midfielder accused the manager of having a problem with black and African players – although he has now apologised for making those comments.
City legend Toure left in 2018 after a successful eight-season stint at the club, but accused Guardiola of ‘having problems with Africans wherever he goes’.
Samuel Eto’o, Aleksandr Hleb and Joe Hart also had disagreements with Guardiola.
Evra also believes most players only join City for the money and is not impressed by the way they splash the cash.
‘City have made a mistake, it’s the truth. They are traumatised. They remind me of PSG: they are clubs based on money.
‘Real Madrid also has money, but it has a story behind it; Manchester City only has money and the players go to play there solely for that,’ he went on to add.
‘Then they win trophies, of course, but a player chooses to go to Manchester City only because it offers you more.’