Take the Ball, Pass the Ball (2018) Script



Take the ball. Pass the ball. Take the ball. Pass the ball.

Take the ball. Pass the ball. Take the ball. Pass the ball.

And I don't care where you're from.

I don't care.

If you tell me that you love football, and you don't love Barcelona, you have a problem.

If there's a game on TV, any team in the world, if Barcelona are playing, I'd pick watching Barcelona all day long.

I'd say 2011 was the best brand of football I've seen.


Barça re-established themselves as the most admired team in Europe.

Not because we won but because of the style in which we won.


There have been three special eras in football history.

First, Cruyff's Ajax, Sacchi's AC Milan, a project that I continued.

And then came Guardiola, and he created something beautiful.

To play against Barcelona at that time, you just knew you had a bigger chance to lose than to win.

That Barcelona was just, you know, eating everything on the table.


It's one of the best ever performances in a Champions League final and to do it against Manchester United was incredible.

We really enjoyed ourselves that day.

I mean, they were special.

They were as good as I've came up against by quite some margin.

And they were just too good.

I remember Sir Alex saying that he'd never lost like that before, where he felt that he couldn't do anything.

No one's given us a hiding like that, so it's a great moment for them.

They deserve it because they play the right way.

They stuck at it, they kept passing, they kept passing.

They might have lost one or two, but they kept passing it.

And all of a sudden, they make that extra pass, and the spaces are bigger, it's harder to close down and you lose your little bit of shape, and that's when they take control.

As a performance, it was...

It was as good as I've seen.

What struck me about them really was the patience of the wide men, to stay so high and so wide and keep making them runs, and probably hardly ever getting the ball.

They both got the goal, but just the patience to stay in that position and hold us, pin our fullbacks back, pin them back.

And then obviously you've got Messi to drop back, making it four v three.


Outnumbering the opponent was the basis of our whole strategy.

Messi dropped into midfield to give us that numerical advantage.

And he also scored goals, which gave us an advantage over every team we played.

I'll show you how we did it.

Here's the Manchester United defense.

They never closed down the player in the hole.

They had two defensive midfielders, a number ten, Rooney, who didn't defend very much and a striker.

For this goal, we were three against two.

Iniesta plays the ball across the line to Messi and Messi attacks the defense.



We started really well but then they equalized and that gave us a scare, which is normal in a final.

But we managed to take control and when we went 3-1 up, we felt much more relaxed.



VALDÉS: Pep gave us a team talk in the Wembley dressing room.

I remember the room was very dark, and he said, "I told you that if you got me this far, I'd win you the final, "and I'm going to make sure you win it."


If Pep said to jump off the third tier of Camp Nou, I'd jump.

There must be a good reason for it.

And that's what I loved about him.

He'd say things, and we'd realize that his words were never just words, and that convinces you that what you're doing is going to get results.

It's unreal the way he used to tell us something, "That's what we're going to do. Do it. It will work."

And it will happen.

It really will happen, just like that.


That day was the crowning moment of everything we'd achieved since 2008.

It was the crowning moment of our reign, the reign of a team adored by its supporters and also by everyone who loves football.

For Barça to win the Champions League in that style at Wembley, was the perfect end to a brutally draining season.

The rivalry between them and Madrid had never been nastier.

And the relationship between Mourinho and Guardiola was beyond tense.

Getting out of hand, some would say.

I think it escalated into something more than just football.

I mean, I don't know whether there's any rivalry between them personally, but it looked that way.

Let's not forget where this comes from.

In 2010, Barcelona are on their way to the Champions League final.

The Champions League final is at Real Madrid's stadium.

I think we've all forgotten how much of a trauma this was in Madrid.

They're terrified of this prospect.

What happens?

Mourinho happens.

Mourinho beats Barcelona and celebrates it like mad.

And he's just passed his audition for Real Madrid.


It was difficult for Mourinho at Madrid because he probably arrives when Barcelona are at their best.

And I doubt that any other manager would have found a solution for Madrid at the time.

I think that he arrived to Madrid, to a really big club, but he got frustrated after the 5-0, because we beat them 5-0 at Camp Nou in his first year.


In the 5-0, they didn't have a hope. (CHUCKLES)

That was the best game I played in at Barça.



I think that he just had a reflection and said, "Listen, if we want to beat this team, we cannot beat them playing football.

We have to beat them in trying to find another way."

And they bring football outside of the pitch, like in every press conference, in every interview, trying to fight in every game.

I have absolutely no doubt that Mourinho's role at Real Madrid was to "knock Barcelona off their fucking perch", to use Ferguson's words.


ALVES: Mourinho's not stupid. Mourinho's a great competitor.

And you have to respect winners.

But when winners start losing and feel powerless, you better watch out because it's bound to kick off.


Playing four Clásicos in such a short period brought the tension to boiling point.

It was tough because most of us were Spain teammates and the tensions spilled out onto the pitch.

I found it all very tough indeed.



We all lost our heads a bit.

The games should have been much more attractive, much better to watch, and without so much aggression, but when you're competing you get swept up in it, and the tension caused constant fighting on the pitch.

The day I remember that they won the Cup in extra time and Cristiano scored.

We were a much better team than them, but they won, and for us, it was like, "Whoa!"

They had that moment where they made us doubt ourselves because it was a really difficult moment.



We thought we were the better team and created more, but because of a marginal offside call, we ended up losing the cup final.

And when you lose, not only do you feel angry, but also doubts start to creep in.

What we got on the pitch was a game where it really could have gone either way.

There's a goal from Pedro ruled offside correctly, but, as Guardiola pointed out, very fine the margin, which gave Mourinho the chance to say Guardiola was complaining about right decisions.

He wasn't. He was pointing out the margins were so fine that it could have gone the other way.



After what Pep said the other day, we've entered into a new era.

There's now a new group of managers with just one member, him, a group that criticizes a referee for getting decisions right.

It's something nobody's ever seen or heard of before.


Mourinho was so provocative that even people at Barça wanted a reaction from Guardiola because Mourinho was constantly trying to pick a fight with Guardiola and Barça in general.


That day at lunch we listened to the Real Madrid manager and I noticed something change in Pep.

I had a feeling that Pep would do something uncharacteristic, and I think others felt it too, because after training the director of football came to the dressing room, which never happens.

And I remember Zubizarreta said, "Keep calm, Pep."

And Pep told him he'd stay calm and wouldn't react.

But Pep was lying.

I was in the press conference that day, and we're sitting in the press room, and there's this moment where everyone just goes, "Did he really say that?

Bloody hell!"


Yes? Yes.

Pep Guardiola, good evening everyone.

Mr. Mourinho addressed me by first name, so I'll do the same.

He called me Pep, so I'll call him José.

I don't know which camera belongs to Mr. José, probably all of them.

Tomorrow at 20.45, our teams go head-to-head on the pitch, but off the pitch, he's already won.

He's won all year long and he probably always will.

I award him a Champions League trophy for victories in the press room.

In this room, he's the fucking boss, the fucking chief.

He knows it all and I don't even want to try and compete with him.

I only want to remind him we worked together for four years.


We were in the team hotel watching that press conference.

He gave us one more incentive to go out and give 100%.


When Guardiola returned, we all started applauding him, and he just said, "That's enough. Time to focus on the match."

It really surprised us because nothing like that had ever happened, but... a line had been crossed.

It was precisely the boost we needed at that moment.


Clásicos are already extremely tense, but this one was worse.

Doubts and fears were creeping into my mind.

I'd known for over a month that I needed surgery but we hadn't told anyone.

It's impossible to keep secrets in a dressing room.

Everything always gets leaked.

So I only told a couple of my teammates the truth.


When you go to a match feeling confident, everything is much easier, but I had a voice in my head telling me to be careful and that my knee could collapse at any moment.

I had a big bit of cartilage floating about inside.

I could have easily collapsed when one of their players was running at me.

I was very nervous.


This was the moment we'd either go down in history or be remembered as a good side but not one of the greats.

That's what was at stake in the semi-finals against Madrid.

Even though you know that you are a better team, you always have that doubt, and I remember Pep said to us, "We are a much better team.

I will bring you to the final of the Champions League."

And it was like this.



They were very well-organized, so it wasn't easy to create goal-scoring chances.

And then Leo picked up the ball in midfield and started that slalom run.


It's just natural ability. That's why he's the best in the world.

Only Messi can do that.

That goal is just incredible.

Busi gives him the ball and he skips past three or four, and then he scores with his right foot.



It's one of the best goals in football history.


My assist practically put the goal on a plate for him.

No. The truth is... we all know that the more Leo is on the ball the better it is for all of us.

You have a Madrid team that's extremely defensive, with Pepe in the middle of midfield.

A Madrid team that is very aggressive, that is playing for nil-nil.

Mourinho's argument has always been that until Pepe is sent off, Madrid were succeeding in that.

We will never know if Messi would have scored his two goals without that sending off.


At that moment, the red card made absolutely no difference.

Messi's unstoppable.

It's natural talent that's only given to the chosen ones.

Maybe in 20 or 30 years, there'll be another one, but right now it's Messi.

I was in the room exactly a year later when Pierluigi Collina, in his refereeing tutorial to the Spain squad, uses that Pepe incident to show them how the laws of the game would be interpreted during Euro 2012.

And the instant it comes up on the screen, the Spain squad is split right down the middle again with Madrid players and Barça players drowning him out, shouting at each other about whether it is or isn't a red card offence.



I told Collina, "Show something else! That's not a good example to show us!"


Yeah. Some of them still said it wasn't a red card.

And that Pepe didn't touch him.


I'm telling you it was a red card.

They can say what they want.

Fans want to see their team play well.

They don't want a team that constantly fouls or defending with everyone behind the ball.

But in the end, football always wins.


After the second leg at the Camp Nou, we stayed on the pitch celebrating for ten or 15 minutes, and we still had to play the Champions League final.

But with all due respect to Manchester United, our biggest test that year was beating Madrid in the semi-final.


HUNTER: So they've beaten Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

They then dismantle Manchester United in the Champions League final.

And the instant outpouring of superlatives from all-time greats of the game all around the world, I think, objectively marks this as the high point of European club football. Ever.

But the fact that Éric Abidal plays and wins, having already just beaten cancer turns this from a great sporting story into a great human drama.


That day wasn't about lifting the Champions League trophy, we should have been lifting Abi.

That was the real triumph.

He was one of the great characters in the dressing room and everybody loved him.



I remember two or three days after we heard about the cancer, Abi came to see us.

And he was the one who cheered us up.

One of my teammates died when I was at Sevilla, and I thought, "I can't let this happen again.

Not another one, please."

The first time I wasn't able to help, but this time, I could.

And if there was a chance to save his life, my career was the last thing on my mind.


Dani came to see me and said, "Look Abi, we have the same blood type.

I'm going to give you part of my liver."

Everyone saw Dani in a different light after that.


ALVES: It was a private matter, which only came out because Abi told people.

But I'd never have forgiven myself if he'd died and I'd done nothing to help.

I couldn't let that happen.

In the end, they found another solution, but I don't regret making the offer.


VALDÉS: Days after his operation, he was back in the dressing room and working out in the gym.

He wanted to be back with the group as soon as possible.

We had no doubt he'd make a full recovery.


INTERVIEWER: Did you think you had a good chance of playing at Wembley?


No. I didn't even think I had a ten percent chance.

We needed to play the strongest side possible, and the strongest team had to include Puyol.

PUYOL: I wanted to play.

I always wanted to play, but I was in a worse state than Abidal.

And the most important thing was winning.

The boss did something he'd never done before, He announced the starting line-up in the dressing room at Wembley just an hour before the game in the Champions League Final.

I was shitting myself, thinking, "Bloody hell! What's going on?"

I wasn't fully match fit, but there was a fire inside me, which gave me that extra drive.

And when you're on the pitch, you're just thinking, "Let's do this."


The Abidal situation was a huge emotional boost for all of us.

And he found strength he didn't know he had to play the way he did, with the same composure as always.

Abidal was an example to everyone.


PUYOL: He showed such strength and determination and a will to overcome the cancer.

And I decided that if we won that night, Abidal should be the first to lift the cup.

It really is an incredible moment.

I've been lucky enough to lift it twice, and it's a difficult feeling to describe.


It was Puyi's decision.

He'd had the disappointment of not starting the game, and he maybe didn't feel like a key member of the team, but despite that, he decided Abidal should lift the cup.

He said to me, "It's got to be Abidal."

And I said, "Bloody hell, you're right. Abi should lift it."

Without any doubt, that moment was... the absolute highlight for us all.

To watch Abidal lift the trophy was very special.


XAVI: I was with Víctor Valdés, close to Abidal.

Watching Abidal lift the trophy after the illness he'd been through, it still gives me goosebumps.



I think it was the moment...

that showed the strength of our group.

We were much more than just teammates.

They say that Barça is more than a club.

At that moment, it was more than a club.

I think that the story of this club, obviously, you cannot understand if you don't know the figure of Cruyff.

Firstly as a player, he was one of the best players in history.

I didn't watch him play, but my dad always said incredible things about him.

He always says, "Messi and then Cruyff."


LAPORTA: When we were kids of ten or 11, Cruyff signed for Barça and we copied his hairstyle, the way he ran and played football.

He inspired a revolution in 1973/74.


JORDI: He comes here with the advantage of having a good reputation as a player.

He has a philosophy which is contrary to many.

He would prefer to fail with his ideas than to succeed with the ideas of someone else.

Players go for these kind of things, for this kind of charisma.


I played with him here for five years and when we took over the team, we wanted to play a different brand of football.

And it caused shock waves around the world.

Everyone played with a 4-4-2 formation, and we played with three defenders, four midfielders and three in attack.


LAPORTA: People would say, "They've only got three defenders!"

It was a 3-4-3.

They'd say, "It's madness. We'll concede loads of goals!"

But Johan preferred winning 6-5 to winning 1-0.

I was really lucky because I was six, seven, eight years old.

I watched the first Copa de Europa, European Championships.

We were a really good team, always playing really well, but we'd never won nothing important.

But when he arrived, he changed this mentality, and we started to win important things and important titles.



Cruyff is the most influential person in the entire history of FC Barcelona.

Our style of play is the most important thing.

Then come the players.

But what really draws you in and what sets the club apart is that Barça play a unique brand of football.


MESSI: It all started a very long time ago during Cruyff's spell at the club.

Since then we've always played the same way, holding onto possession and passing in triangles, pressing the moment we lose the ball, staying close together so we can recover possession and then keep it.


Over time you realize, that it's because of Cruyff's influence that by the age of 21, it felt normal to come off my line and play further up the pitch, outside the penalty area.

You come to realize that all of us, me, Xavi, Iniesta...

We've all grown up adopting Johan's philosophy.

You know, it's an immense honor, or pride, to see that this is still going this way and my father is mentioned like the architect.


I think it's a process that began in the 1970s with Laureano Ruiz.

I experienced that here as a player.

I was then a coach here when the second big change took place when Johan Cruyff arrived as manager.

He changed our mentality.

He turned us into winners and taught us to be confident, to want the ball and be creative, and to enjoy ourselves.

And our third big change was with Pep, who took it to another level.


Cruyff's arrival was key because he imposed his ideas.

His advantage was that the players already understood this style because they'd worked under me.

I invented the Rondo.

The ideal Rondo is four against two.

You need to move constantly to find space.

The player with the ball must have the option of a pass to his right, another to this left, and another through the middle, which I call the pass down the street.

So in a match that becomes a sideways pass to feet or a through ball.

So it's a very important tactical exercise.

Barcelona always train in tight spaces.

If the ball doesn't stay by your foot, it's gone, in training.

That's why, after, when you drop those guys on the big field, they play as if they were in tight places.


If you pass, the player marking you doesn't have time to catch you.

When he gets to you, it's always too late.

That's how you take control.


XAVI: The ball is fired at you from every direction.

And the light shows you where to pass the ball.

So if the light comes on over there, I have to be in the right position.

Left foot control, right foot pass. As few touches as possible.

It's the role of a midfielder.

You're being marked and pressed.

You have to get your head up and find the solution.

I learned all of that from the age of 11 or 12 because I had fantastic coaches at Barça like Joan Vilà and Albert Benaiges.

My son plays for the youth team, and you get to realize as a parent, as well, what the club teaches.

It's not only about how they play and how successful that you can be.

It's how you conduct yourself, how to be a Barça player, how to live like a Barça player, how to respect what it means.


Having well brought up, polite kids, with good values... makes everything much easier.

Just look at the squad we've got at the moment.

They're all exceptional people.


We were lucky to have a generation of players who came from La Masia, like Xavi, Iniesta, Piqué, Puyol, Valdés, Pedro, Leo, Busquets.

They all achieved huge success in the first team.

Tell me a team, apart maybe from Ajax, that dominated world football having that amount of youngsters from the academy in their team.

There's a reason why youth players at Barcelona are the ones who best adjust to the first team at Barcelona.

It's not a coincidence.

It's not because they work with special machines that no other club has.

It has to do with the way they're brought up, the values, their football values.

What is the real essence of our football?

Is it the result or is it how we play?

It's how we play.

And then, if you do that good, the results will come.

INIESTA: We came here to play football.

People realized that we were different and that we had talent.

We were given the chance to develop from junior level through to the first team.

It's a different way of understanding football, which gives you a better chance of success.

When I joined Barcelona, the media asked me which player had surprised me most and I said, Andrés Iniesta, which surprised them because they all wanted me to say Messi or Ronaldinho.

But the player who makes difficult things look easy is Andrés.

I'd want Andrés and Xavi... in my team until the day they retire.


Barça's style of football is different to any team in the world.

At Barça, there is a very specific way you have to play.

You can't just boot the ball clear.

Defenders have to control the ball, dribble and make the right pass.

It's not easy.

In the Premier League or at Real Madrid, you clear the ball.

And that isn't a problem at most other clubs.

But at Barça that's not enough. You have to do a lot more.


MESSI: It's a unique philosophy.

And that's why it's so difficult for new players to adapt to our style of play.

It might look easy but it's something we've been practicing for years.

Most of us have been playing this way since we were kids.

Playing for Barça isn't easy.

GUDJOHNSEN: You see all these players that are here for a long time.

They come through the youth system and walk into the first team, and it's as if they've been there for many, many years.

Coming here wasn't so easy because there are certain elements of the game that you haven't been taught.

You see players...

I could tell you a few names but I'm not allowed. (LAUGHS)

But world-class, spectacular footballers, who were completely lost.

They ended up in hysterics.

It was more the style of play that I had to adapt to.

Staying on the line to make sure that you can free Andrés, make the run in behind, knowing that nine times or eight times out of ten, you will not get that ball.

But if you don't make the run, Andrés doesn't get the ball.

My first move when Abidal had the ball and he's about to control it, I always have to ask for the ball in behind.

Every single time. It's a dummy run.

Now Andrés gets the ball, Sam now makes a run for Andrés, so Andrés can play him there, Andrés can play me as I come back from an offside position, Or, if not, third choice, Andrés skills you by his dribble.

You have a guy dropping, a guy running and a guy with the ball running at you, so, by the time you stop to realize what's happening, you're already in trouble.


Some guys managed to get it in the end like Thierry Henry and Abidal, who both struggled at the start.

But some other really talented players just didn't make it.

CHYGRYNSKIY: I missed my chance.

I was full of this fire, of this desire to, you know, to play and sometimes it was like...

I mean, I just wanted to immediately show what I can.

And sometimes it was against me.


PUYOL: Barça is a hard team to play for, particularly at center-back.

If you make a couple of early mistakes, the fans get on your back, and the pressure really builds.

But Chygrynskiy's qualities were perfect for Barça.

To turn the crowd around is not easy, especially at Barcelona.

I think it was Xavi who said, "This is a very special place.

I've played here for many years, but believe me, if I play one or two games not good, these people can destroy me."

I got it as a joke but then I felt that it...

That it was not.


Despite being a home-grown player, I've suffered things that crossed the line.

-In 2003, I was the "Cancer of Barça." -(WHISTLE BLOWS)

In 2014, I was "old and good for nothing."

It's a roller coaster.

Barça is the most difficult club in the world.

No doubt about it.

Imagine for a new signing. It must be twice as difficult.

I felt this difference, that I needed to learn this language of football, how to create space, how to defend, and all the things that the players were already playing.

We played a game against Osasuna and Osasuna were not defending well that area.

The guy there was not tucking in well.

So that day Chygrynskiy played because he had a great left foot.

He could ping the ball well with his left and right foot.

But an amazing left foot.

We were going to always play in the center back that was going to play across for Xavi.

Whenever we were moving, Xavi stayed in that zone.

So that was the exit.

But what was funny that day is that Chygrynskiy twice played the ball long for Zlatan.

And it was on.

Zlatan nearly went one v one with the keeper.

Pep took him off at half-time...

...because he didn't respect the pattern.

That's the way he studied that team and that's the way he asked us to play.

The vocabulary of Guardiola or my father is building up from behind, possession, the speed of the ball is more important than the speed of the legs, always play attractive football to keep your fans happy.

I mean, there are so many similarities.

GUDJOHNSEN: When you play for Barcelona and especially after Guardiola came, that's where you really learn how to play the Barcelona way.

It's 11, not just the strikers or not just the midfielders.

The 11 players have to participate to create the chance.

Basically, what we want to do is try to put the ball to the strikers with a really good pass, so that they can have one on one.

But obviously if you pass them a long ball that's not really easy to control, the striker will not do his job.

It's all about starting from the back, to the strikers.


Pep took risks all over the pitch.

I think he made two great innovations as our coach, One was pressing after losing the ball and the other was playing out from the back.


I remember my first conversation with Guardiola as coach.

It was in his office at the Camp Nou.

He had a tactics board with two small magnets either side of the goal, just outside of the box.

He said, "Do you know which players these two are?"

I said, "Nope."

And he said, "These are your center-backs."

I had no idea what he was talking about. It sounded Chinese.

And he said, "When you've got the ball, this is where I want them to be."

I thought he was crazy.

And then he said, "You'll pass to them, and from there we'll build the play."

I still thought he was completely mad, but given that I'm a bit crazy myself, I felt in tune with him.

So I told him the defenders would have to be brave and want the ball.

And Pep said, "Don't worry, that's my job.

I'll make sure they want it."

That's how it started.


PINTO: Both Pep and Tito took this idea one step further.

They told us not to worry because if we made a mistake, they would take responsibility.

All they asked was that we play the ball out from the back because that was the way Barça had to play football.


He would show us how he wanted us to play the ball out from the back.

He said that by doing this, we'd score.

So why would I stop playing that way if I made a mistake?

We both knew that it was risky.

But he would say, "Don't worry if you make a mistake.

Just keep playing exactly the same way."



We believe it's about much more than just winning.

The message isn't "win, win, win".

Winning is a result of how you play.

The philosophy is the most important thing.

You know you've done something when people just want to watch you play.

Not win.

When you talk about Barcelona, you're talking about the way they play, the beauty of the game.

You go home and you go like, "You should watch the second goal... and, by the way, they won."


There was a sign on the door of the coaches' room, which said, "If you're offering us a youth player who's less than 1.8 meters tall, turn around and go home."

It was Cruyff who changed that, when he returned as manager.

He believed that talent was the key and height was irrelevant.


From then on, players were judged only on their quality.

Is he good or not? Regardless of their height.

Look at Jordi, Xavi, Messi and Andrés.

On top of each other they barely reach normal height. They're all tiny!


Small players have enormous advantages over big players.

They can start, stop and turn quicker.

The best players are all small.

Messi has given a lot of people, a lot of young football dreamers, a whole new hope.

It's not about the 1 meter 80.

It's much more than that.

It's intelligence.

In the end, if the brain is faster than the ball, you dominate.


One of my friends worked in the youth academy, when Messi was 14 or 15.

I always asked about the kids, which of them looked special, who was likely to make it and reach the first team.

He said to me, "There's this kid from Argentina and I've never seen anyone with the talent he's got."

When Messi started training with us at the age of 16, we all realized he was special.



I had a big network of scouts in South America.

One of them told me there was a kid in Rosario.

He was only 12 years old but he was unique.

Nowadays, clubs invest in youngsters, but it didn't happen back then.

It wasn't easy, but Charly Rexach helped and we decided to bring him over.

MESSI: Nobody wanted to take a risk on me.

It was a big gamble to sign such a small kid from abroad and bring him to Barcelona.

It was Charly Rexach who made it happen.

He came to watch me play and told me that Barça definitely wanted me.

It was thanks to him and the coaches who wanted to sign me, although there were some who didn't.

But mainly it's thanks to Charly that I signed for Barça.


I've always said it was an honor to have brought Messi to this club.

My small part in Messi's arrival was that I kept nagging until we signed him.

If you went to the board back then and told them that we needed to sign a 12-year-old kid, their first reaction was, "Let's talk again in eight years."

But I said, "No. We have to sign him.

He's very good, and one day, he'll be incredible."

That was my success. I insisted on it.

Even back then, it was already obvious that Messi was out of this world.


So I told Rexach that I needed something in writing.

His parents had been here a month, and I kept reassuring them, but there was no official agreement.

We were at the Pompeia Tennis Club on Montjuic, and there were napkins on the table, so Rexach took one and wrote, "I, Carles Rexach, advisor to the president, confirm that Leo Messi has the qualities to sign for FC Barcelona."

He signed it and then I signed it.

We still have the napkin stored in the bank because it's delicate and it needs looking after.


By signing the napkin, I wanted to show Messi's family that I was committed to signing him for FC Barcelona.

JODI: I think Barcelona and Messi just... It was destined.

It just had to be this way.

He came to the best club that he could have.

MESSI: It was difficult at first.

I was very young and everything was new.

I'd left behind family members, friends, my country.

It was tough to start with, but I managed to settle in.

Most of us knew that a phenomenon was coming.

But the Gamper tournament was the proof.

It was the first night, of which there have been so many since, when 99,000 lucky people at the Camp Nou simply paid homage to something more exciting, more uplifting than they'd ever witnessed before.

I was there that night and the effect was spine-tingling.



It was a very special day and I loved every minute.

It was the Gamper tournament and I was in the starting XI.

It was a huge moment for me because after that game, everything changed.

That's where it all started.


ETO'O: I remember telling Patrick Vieira before that match to be very careful because he was up against a young kid who would change history.

One day, it would seem like every player who came before Messi, even me, were playing a different sport.

It was incredible what this kid was doing against the likes of Vieira, a first team player at Juve.

He was drifting past big, physical players.

Messi just did whatever he wanted.

And Capello asked if he could take him on loan.


Capello's no fool!


Initially, I didn't know anything about Messi.

Only that he was going to play.

I saw that he was just a young kid, but when the game started, he began doing incredible things.

Rijkaard was the Barcelona coach back then.

It was the Gamper trophy, a friendly match.

The referee wasn't that strict and we could move about, so I walked over to Rijkaard and asked if I could take Messi on loan.

You weren't allowed as many foreigners in your team back then.

I said, "You've already got three foreign players.

There's no place for him".

But Rijkaard said that they were already looking for a solution and Messi would be a regular in the team very soon.

It's just...

How do you describe it?

Basically everyone knew this guy is going to be the best in the world.

And there was no doubt about it.


VALDÉS: I knew about his goal scoring ability, and fortunately, Guardiola put him in that false nine position.

It meant that alongside Eto'o and the other strikers, he had more freedom in attack.

That tactical change was a huge benefit to him.



It's very difficult to pick Leo's best goal.

The one he scored against Getafe comes to mind.

When you see what he produces day in day out, it's impossible to choose one goal.


They were just flashes of Maradona against England.

And I knew at that time, right in the moment that I've witnessed something incredible here.

It's one of his great goals, probably one of the greatest, but if you get a video of his goals, he's probably scored another 50 like it, which makes him exceptional.


One of my favorites is the goal he scored against Arsenal.

It was like watching someone on the PlayStation.

He flicks it over Almunia at the last second and then scores.

I love it because of that skill.

Any other player would smash it into the net first time, but he had the composure to flick the ball up and then finish.

The best goal I've seen him score was against Málaga at home because that defied logic what he did.

Diagonal ball, controlled the ball on his chest, he runs full speed.

The first player goes, the second player's just behind him.

If he takes another step that player will clear the ball.

OK, if you stop the ball on your left foot here, how do you go back with that same leg to touch the ball in the air, to make sure that guy doesn't touch it?

Then he almost fell.

He almost fell and smashed it to first post, top corner.

That's not normal.


Regardless of the fact that he's Messi, in training, he wants to win.

He'll get annoyed if he doesn't get the ball and angry if he's fouled.

And that tells you a lot about a champion like him.

In training, if the boss doesn't call a foul or whatever, he used to go and ask, "It's not a foul? OK."

He used to go and get the ball, run past everyone, score.

Now you get the ball, you try to go, he runs after you, gets the ball back, scores, until he gets in a normal state again and he relaxes.

Next thing you know you're 3-1 down.

He's a player who's different from the rest.

He's very talented and earns lots of money, but when you meet him it's like he isn't a star at all.


I've known him for ten or 12 years and he's not the most outgoing person but he's just a normal, humble guy.

He's very quiet, but when his feet do the talking, he's unique.

He's an absolute winner.

He has the desire to always be the best on the pitch, and that's why he became the best player in the history of this game.



I was lucky enough to play against Pelé and Cruyff.

I watched Maradona play.

They have all made a big difference in this sport.

But nowadays there is no one like Leo Messi.

He does things that other players can't even think about doing.

He does the impossible, the incredible.

He moves at a different speed to everyone else. (CHUCKLES)

It's like the ball is glued to his foot and he keeps showing it to you and just when you think you can get it, it's already too late.

It's difficult to talk about Leo and put it into our words because he's not on our planet.


In every game I'd be watching, waiting to see what he would do because he's the player who wins you every game.

When he takes the ball, something's going to happen.


MASCHERANO: He's capable of starting the move and finishing it off, as well.

Normally, players can do one or the other,

But he's different.


XAVI: He's better than you with his right foot, left foot and head, at defending and attacking.

He's faster, better at dribbling and passing.

INTERVIEWER: Goalkeeper?

Well, we haven't put him in goal yet.

But watch out if he tries that too! (LAUGHS)

The impact and importance of Cruyff as a player and then the Dream Team coach at Barça, huge.

But Joan Laporta's devotion to the Dutchman meant that he stood for election and once he won the presidency, he ushered in that golden era of all-time by handing the GPS to Cruyff, about the football philosophy, and the appointment of the right men to implement it.

It's for those three things: great player, brilliant coach, and the greatest ever professor, that Cruyff has become the most important man in the history of professional football.

I think it was... it was crucial, the contribution of Cruyff.

It wasn't like a day-to-day office job, but we knew that he was providing ideas and support.


LAPORTA: He advised us on all of our football decisions.

Johan created and developed a certain style of football, and Rijkaard contributed his own personality, ideas and experience.


VALDÉS: People remember Pep's time in charge because it was a very successful era, but I'll never forget Frank's time at the club, which was also a very successful few years.

During Madrid's Galáctico era, they were winning everything, and it felt like we couldn't beat them.

But with Rijkaard, we put an end to that, which for me personally was a very proud moment.


Barça was already a huge brand, but we were looking at the museum and there was only one Champions League.

If you watch the final, I don't think we deserved to lose.


After the births of my children, that was the best night of my life.

I honestly thought it would be my last game for Barça because I'd had a really tough year.

It was thanks to Frank that I played that day.

He was like a father to me.

And in the end, we lifted the European Cup together.

After winning in Paris, that magical point, that turning point for the club, the following season wasn't that good.

The leading players were not really leading the group properly.

Maybe we had so much success so early that maybe it was too early. (CHUCKLES)

GUDJOHNSEN: Slowly, but steadily, we were going in the wrong direction.

The second season that I was here, Rijkaard was still in charge.

I think it's one of the worst seasons in the recent history of Barcelona, where we came third.


We went backwards after winning in Paris and winning the league.

We'd stopped competing. we'd lost our fire, our hunger.

HENRY: You could sense through the season that it was the end of an era.

People wanted a change, and I was part of the people that they wanted out.

It was very difficult.


XAVI: I've only been sent off twice: Once because the referee made a mistake and once at the Bernabéu.

I felt angry and powerless.

They were running rings around us.

Never mind 4-1, we could have lost 7-1.

It was one of the worst nights of my career, and the same goes for Puyol and everyone else.

It just wasn't good enough. Not for the standards people set here.

Not good enough for the club.

And not good enough if you look at the players that we had.

Something had to change.

HUNTER: Mourinho does come out of this story as the bad guy, but in 2008, he was a perfectly legitimate candidate to succeed the failing Frank Rijkaard.

He's a winner, and it felt like a safer choice because he was a big brand and he'd recently coached Chelsea, etc., and he was on the market.


LAPORTA: It was a long process, there were many board members who wanted Mourinho.

They argued that we needed a manager who would get results quickly.

Given there were four or five directors keen on Mourinho, the vice president organized a meeting with him and off he went.

INGLA: By that time he was employing the 4-3-3, he even prepared a PowerPoint with some pitch positions of the players and typical movements.

I'm sure he would have been successful.


Mourinho helped us a lot when we were young players.

Van Gaal often sent him to take Barça B training.


I was with the under-19s and he'd coach us once a week.

It was the same style of football, the Barça philosophy.


XAVI: The rondo, possession, holding onto the ball, positional play.

We worked on all of that with Mourinho.

You could understand that Mourinho felt he should be in charge of making Barça the greatest team in the world.

But by 2008, Mourinho had changed radically.

It was about power, height, athleticism, over technique.


When he went to Chelsea, Mourinho's philosophy of the game changed.

It's a very different style to the football we play at Barça.


We wanted to stay faithful to Cruyff's philosophy.


The president and Johan were good friends, and Laporta had complete confidence in Johan's opinion.

Johan told him the man for the job was training the youth team.

All he needed to do was promote him.

There's a lot of football players... There were a lot of football players that came to visit my father periodically.

My father loved that.

And I know Pep also loved that, and I know that they were meeting a lot.

So when my father had, what we could call a crazy idea that the coach who was in Barça B in the third division, or the third level at the time, to say, "Put him in the first team."

That's a big gamble.


LAPORTA: I asked them if they thought Pep was ready, and Txiki Begiristain and Johan, who saw him regularly, said he was.

Mourinho's agent called me and said, "Are you going to appoint Mourinho or not?

Because if you're interested, we need to talk."

And I said to him, "No, Jorge. We've chosen Pep Guardiola."

So I told Pep that I wanted him to be the next manager if the season didn't end well.

We were having lunch and Pep, half in jest, said to me, "If you appoint me as coach I'll win everything for you." (LAUGHS)

He honestly said that.


When I heard that Guardiola would be our new manager, I knew that everything would go well.

I hadn't worked with him as a coach but we were teammates and I knew what a perfectionist he was.

And I thought, this is going to be great.


HUNTER: In retrospect, it's remarkable, but because of Euro 2008, Guardiola's appointment had garnered very little media coverage in Spain until the day of his presentation when he sits there, lean, young, full head of hair, the returning local hero and says, "Everything changes." Ronaldinho, out! Deco, out!

Eto'o, out! Or, at best, third choice striker.

It was his statement of: "I'm in charge."


Just imagine what Samuel was like when he heard that.

It was like an explosion.



Given the kind of player I was, and considering what I'd done for the club, it would have been nice for Pep to have called me with the news.

It's always better to be straight with people.

It was a big shock to find out that way.


Tactically, he's the best in the world. I've always said that.

He understands the game better than anyone, but I'll be even better because I'll be up front with people.


LAPORTA: Samuel took training seriously. He trained as hard as he played.

Every manager loved Eto'o but at training, it was all or nothing with him and he often caused problems.

I remember Rijkaard told me we had to get rid of Samuel because he grabbed one of the assistants by the scruff of the neck for giving him offside in training.

But that passion is also good.

I remember the pre-season training camp in St Andrews.

We were all curious.

We'd sold Deco and Ronaldinho, but I was keen to keep Eto'o, and I told him that I'd try to keep him.


He was brilliant during that pre-season.

He worked harder and ran more than anyone else.

In the pre-season games he scored more than anyone.

So the captains went to see Pep...

I hope Pep doesn't get annoyed I'm sharing this!

They told Pep that... (EXHALES) Eto'o would be a big help that season.

The guy they wanted to kick out saved them.

Everyone talks about Messi these days, but the one who made the difference at Barça back then wasn't Ronaldinho. It was Eto'o.

When things got difficult, it was me they all looked to.

The team could have played without a manager.

Guardiola's job was to reinstall a desire to win, and he achieved that with his team talks.


After his first team talk in St Andrews...

I knew that something big was about to happen.

I'd never heard anyone convey a message like that before.

At that moment, everyone knew that things would go well.


Pep spoke to the players a lot.

Maybe his most famous team talk was when he said, "You can miss a penalty or mess up a pass.

"You're only human.

"But I'll never forgive you if you don't give me 100%."


There are very few people who communicate as well as he does.

He makes his players believe in what they have to do.

And he convinces you that it will work.

From the first minute, we all believed that a change was coming and that we could achieve big things.


Pep's team talks were exactly what I needed.

He was so passionate when he spoke.

I love a challenge.

I really like having to work at something important.

So when they told me everything was going to change at Barça, that a new coach and new players were arriving, I decided that was where I wanted to be.


XAVI: I joined up with the team for pre-season and I needed to talk to Guardiola.

I told him I'd had offers to join other teams.

Ten seconds is what it took. (LAUGHS)

He told me he had three or four line-ups in mind and he couldn't imagine a single one without me in it.

I told my brother, my agent and everyone else not to listen to any other offers.

GUDJOHNSEN: It was a good start in pre-season and the freshness about the team and a lot of hard work and well-prepared, but the season itself didn't start that well.

I actually saw that game with my father, here at home.

And they lost to Numancia.

And immediately the attacks, "He's not prepared for this."

My father said, "It's one of the best games in years!"

You know, come on! Give us a break! It was not the best game.

Most of us, including me, probably saw the game and said, "Wow! This doesn't smell good."

My father never looked at the end product of 90 minutes.

My father looked at the end product of many years to come.


GUDJOHNSEN: It was really a big moment for myself, and it was probably an even bigger moment for the team and for the club because we needed that victory.

If we'd drawn that game, the question marks would have started flying around.

And once we found that click, once we got that first victory, there was no stopping us.


Guardiola taught us so much, but he also explained why we did things.

Most of us already understood the reasons because we'd spent years at Barça, but the guys from other clubs noticed a huge change when Guardiola took over.


He was the coach who completely changed my outlook.

When I arrived here he showed me an entirely new way of seeing, playing, and thinking about football.


It always reminded me of the tactics of a basketball team, when they have the ball and start signaling to each other that they're going to try a certain play.

It was a bit like that.

It was fantastic.

I was never allowed to kick the ball long, and from the very first minute I was involved in the tactics.

So I had to really concentrate all the time, which meant every match flew by really fast.

It was great because I'd been used to a more direct style of football and sometimes all I'd be thinking about was how boring the games were.



I was in my element because Guardiola and I shared the same philosophy.

I'd think, don't clear it, pass it, and Guardiola would say exactly that.

But my football philosophy isn't the same as Abidal's or Henry's or Hleb's or Yaya Toure's.

They thought they were playing well, and at other clubs they would have been.

Not at Barça. It's a different kind of football.

Whoa, hang on! That's new. Let me assess it. Let me see it.

Let me put my pride on the side, also.

Because that team had a lot of guys that are all kings in their country.

To tell a guy that used to do maybe stuff or whatever, "No, stay there. Don't do that. Make that run for him."

"What? What do you mean? I can play football too!"

LAPORTA: Pep's methods were different.

He was very hands-on, always intervening.

I remember Abidal and a few others coming to me and saying, "This guy's changing everything!"


I wasn't some 15-year-old kid.

If you treat me with respect, I'll do the same in return, but if not, why should I respect you?

So I said to Pep, "You can't speak to me like that."

I went to the president and told him, "If this continues, I'm off."

Abi came from Lyon, where he had another way of playing.

Look at the Abidal that arrived, and look at the Abidal three years after.

Crosses, putting the ball down and passing it out.

Before he would have cleared it straight away.

He wouldn't have been that composed in the last third.


ALVES: I think Pep's a football genius.

Sometimes he can be a bit controlling, checking every last detail.

Some guys accept and respect that, but there are others who say, "You know where you can stick that."

I arrived here. I was 21.

And for me it was like love and hate at the same time because every minute of your life, you have to be focused on football.

Twelve o'clock you have to go to bed to sleep.

You have to eat well. He wants to control you in every way.

"Don't go and watch the tennis, don't stay under the sun, don't go to the Formula 1, don't go to this.

We're here on a mission."

He wanted to know everything. What we ate, what we... Whatever!

PIQUÉ: He was so obsessed that sometimes we had some arguments between him and me.


PUYOL: Gerard is one of my best friends, but I believe a manager has to be like that.

During training, we always had to give 100%, but I'd done that my entire career.

In my opinion, that's how football should be.

On the one hand, he was very demanding.

We all had to have lunch at the training ground every day.

He controlled our weight, what we ate.

He completely revolutionized the team's diet.

But on the other hand, he gave us the night off before matches.

As a player, he always complained that we spent too much time in hotels.


Initially, it seemed like a strange decision because we weren't used to it, but I think it was one of the best decisions he made.

For me where Pep was, at times, ahead of the game...

The fact that, Champions League final, in the hotel: family, kids, wives.

My brother was in my room, midnight.

Girlfriend, friends, we're just talking, I made a cup of coffee, chilling.

You play for any other team, "Don't do this, don't do that. No. You have to concentrate."


We were lucky because Pep had only recently retired and he understood what the life of a top footballer was like.


We'd go to every training session and match with a spring in our step because he was treating us well. He understood us.

HENRY: Listen, I say it every single time to my friends.

When the ref was blowing the whistle, I used to look at the time and say, "Already?"

I didn't want the game to end.

I didn't want the game to end. I was like, "I'm enjoying this."


We had a great teacher and we were like sponges, absorbing everything he taught us.

It makes no difference how great the teacher is if the students aren't capable of understanding the message.

It all came together perfectly.


We won everything because we were the best team, but we also had the luck of champions.

There were some epic moments that season.

Like when winning the Cup hinged on one crucial moment when Pinto saved a penalty against Mallorca.



We were losing 1-0, and at the start of the second half we conceded a penalty and Martín Cáceres was sent off.

So I thought I'd try and unsettle the penalty taker.

I said, "Where are you going to put the penalty?"

He didn't answer, so I said, "I'm going to dive that way."

And I got lucky, I went the right way and made the save.

It gave us a massive boost.

And then Leo came on.

He got fouled, their defender was sent off, and he scored a wonder-goal.


In La Liga, if we lost at the Bernabéu, they'd have cut the gap at the top.

But we won 6-2, which won us the league.

That was the key game.

They were four points behind us, and if they beat us, it was really tough to win the league.

But we played one of the best games I've ever seen.


I really enjoyed it. It was one of the best games ever.

When I die, I'll probably be thinking about that night.


Puyol kissing the captain's armband Messi scoring goals, and Henry and Piqué. Oh, fantastic!

I obviously had to behave appropriately but what a feeling! (CHUCKLES)

(LAUGHS) It's weird because it's eight years ago.

I always watch it on television. I've watched that goal a hundred times.

So I always remember this image. I cannot remember what I felt.

Obviously, it was like an unbelievable feeling because it was a tremendous game.


But the 6-2 was extra special because of our tactics.

That's when that fake nine whole thing started.


Pep called me the day before the game and told me to come down to the training ground.

He was keen to discuss a new position.

He'd been watching videos of games with Tito.

He said he wanted to try something different.

The red glasses are Barça, the others are Real Madrid.

Pep changed our system and told Henry to play between the right-back and center-back, with Eto'o between the center-back and left-back.

Guardiola had analyzed the Madrid center-backs and noticed they never came out to press the number nine.

Thanks to the false nine, we outnumbered them in midfield when Messi dropped back.

We always had an extra man.

Pep said we'd outnumber them throughout the entire game.

He was right.

We'd never played that way, (SPEAKING SPANISH) so Madrid hadn't studied the possibility of us playing like that.

The center-backs didn't know whether to mark me or not, which meant I had lots of space when I dropped back.

And as soon as the defenders came out to close me down, Eto'o and Henry made runs in behind.

That's what happened for Henry's first goal.

It was a great performance.

And it worked out because on that goal that Leo gave me that's exactly what happened.

He was in a position where they didn't know if they have to come and get him, but I'm running in behind, Sam was running on the other side, and it worked out.


It wasn't so robotic because we also improvised.

Robots would be like, (ROBOT VOICE) "I. Go. Here. Now. I. Go. There."

No. There was always room to be creative.

But 60% of our match strategy was set in stone before kick-off.

The other 40% was down to our improvisations.


LAPORTA: In the Champions League, if it hadn't been for Iniesta's goal, we were out.

A 92nd-minute goal.


I was sat with the captain Carles Puyol, who was suspended.

Bam, Chelsea go 1-0 up.

And Puyol said to me, "Don't worry, it's fine. We'll score at the end."

There I was watching it and I'm like, "Oh, my gosh! We are gonna lose here."


The minutes kept ticking away, and I didn't have the nerve to say, "Look skipper, you were wrong! This ain't gonna happen!"


I knew that if we could just hold on, because we were under the cosh, we'd definitely create one last chance.

And then little Andrés arrived to save the day.


Every time I watch that goal, it sparks so many emotions because it was such a significant moment for my club.

I'll never get tired of watching it.


It's because of moments like this that we love football.

The only thing that beats it is sex. (LAUGHS)


That was the most important goal in this whole story.

If we hadn't reached that final in Rome, we probably wouldn't still be talking about Pep's Barça.

I don't know how I played.

Iniesta... I don't know how he played.

We were on a mission. We didn't want to let that one go.


We had a chance to win the treble.

We'd just gone through the drama of Stamford Bridge.

When we won the Champions League against Arsenal in Paris, I wasn't picked to start.

So I had to play this time.

No matter the risk or possible consequences.


I advised him not to shoot powerfully from distance because there was a big risk he'd tear his muscle again.

HENRY: Yaya played center back.

Sylvinho wasn't even playing that season, he played.

Puyol played right back.

Some people were like, "Hmm, people are missing.

Two guys are starting injured."


We knew we'd win the game, because Pep told us we'd win.

Pep's a genius.

He'd tell us exactly what we needed to do in order to win.

I hope he will never change because he is, for me, the future of the game.


Some matches looked impossible to win, but after 20 minutes, we'd have them wrapped up, like the game against Manchester United in Rome.

What manager would show you a video five minutes before a Champions League final?

Only him.

We don't know what was happening. We go inside. There's a screen.

The boss asks us to stand in front of the screen and we are basically waiting.


Pep and Tito had made a spectacular video featuring every single one of us.

With the music of Gladiator, I think it was.

-(HEROIC MUSIC PLAYING) -We see the whole journey to the final.

Sad moments, good moments, struggles.


After Iniesta's goal at Stamford Bridge I got a text message from Pep...

"I need your help to win the Champions League."

The first feedback I received was on the night before the game.

Pep gathered his technical staff and showed them the video.


As soon as I saw it, I honestly knew we'd win the Champions League final.

HENRY: It was so powerful. It was... It was so powerful that I would say, also, it was too powerful.


As a motivational tool, the video was a total disaster.

In the opening ten minutes, if it wasn't for Víctor...

they'd have scored twice!


Er... the boss was very sentimental.

I went to the dressing room and was told I couldn't go in.


They said the boss was preparing something.

When we finally got in, we had no time to prepare and it was sweltering hot.

Then he showed us a video that had all of us in tears.

We went onto the pitch and Andrea Bocelli was singing, which almost set us off again.

Manchester United must have wondered what was wrong with us.

We were in pieces.

HENRY: After the video, he said, "Guys, at the end of the game, "I want people to say that we can play football.

"Have a good game."

We went into the game believing we had a great chance of winning.

The first, might've been ten, 15 minutes, we started really well.

Probably out of nowhere, I've headed one down in midfield, Iniesta's picked it up, made a run, and all of a sudden, boom, Eto'o and you're one down.

Maybe from that moment on they just...

That was what they needed. Take a deep breath, just get the ball and start passing it, and gradually, sucking the life out of us.

You know when you play against someone and you look in their eyes, and it's over.

I think it was Wayne Rooney.

He was trying to get the ball and we were keeping the ball, and you could see the look. He was defeated.

The quality they had, on the night, was too good for us.

That was the one, for us, that hurt the most.

It took me quite some time to get over that.


We knew it would be historic to win the treble in our first year playing our brand of football, with the players we had.

And after Leo made it 2-0, we knew the trophy was ours.


It was exactly how I'd visualized it.

The ball looped over the goalkeeper and in.

It was an unforgettable moment.

It was a statement of greatness to begin your reign with a treble.

But the football reached its high point at Wembley in 2011, before which, Johan Cruyff said that Guardiola should probably walk away from the job after three hugely intense years and ten trophies lifted.

Everything had come at a cost.

A significant part of that cost was that Pep was now getting on far less well with his employers, given that Joan Laporta had ended his presidential reign, and the new guy, Sandro Rosell, had taken over.

In his final year, Guardiola was frustrated and tired.

Given the burnout that we saw in him in year four, I'll bet you that Guardiola thinks that Cruyff had it exactly right.


Pep had become very uptight.

He stressed about things that hadn't bothered him before.

We played a pre-season game at the Dallas Cowboys stadium, and I overheard Guardiola talking to Puyol and Piqué.

It was an unimportant pre-season friendly but Guardiola raised his voice to them.

When I saw that, I said to Andrés Iniesta, "He's leaving. This is his last year."


Even geniuses make mistakes and Pep definitely got that wrong because it felt like we didn't matter to him anymore.


We didn't know what was going on with Pep, which caused some uncertainty within the group.

Pep usually renewed his contract in February or March, but February passed with no news.

Then March passed and we still didn't know anything.


I really struggled to understand what was happening.

And we had a few bust-ups about it.

That year, if Pep had told me to jump from the Camp Nou stands, I'd have sprinted down the steps. I wouldn't have jumped!


When you work with the same coaching staff for so long, relationships change.

It's very difficult to maintain the dynamic and to keep on winning.

We won the Copa del Rey Final in his last game, and it was the perfect end to his time with us.


That day everyone got to see the team he had built again.

After 30 minutes, we were leading 3-0 against the best Athletic Bilbao side in years.

HUNTER: Signing off by winning the Copa del Rey in that style on his last night in charge should have been the perfect send-off, but he walked away with a distinctly bittersweet feeling.

Mostly because he felt ill-treated and under-appreciated.


My lasting memory of that cup final is a sense of sadness.

It was the end of something wonderful, so it's normal to feel sad.

But there was something else that troubled me.

The attempts to demolish and destroy everything we'd achieved.

I don't understand the motivation. Things had gone well and we'd won!

Surely that's what you hold onto, that's what you remember.

But no, they didn't care about what we'd achieved.

All they did was focus on the negatives.

I think the club's got a problem.


ALVES: Barça is a bit strange in that respect.

I've learned the most important thing in life is to be grateful to the people who make a difference in your life.

After everything he'd done for the club, Guardiola didn't get the recognition he deserved.


Announcing his departure at a press conference and then immediately revealing who would replace him in front of the whole squad and the board members...

I don't think it was the right way to say goodbye to the boss.


On the advice of the director of football, Andoni Zubizarreta and after consulting the board, I can announce that the next Barça coach will be Tito Vilanova.


I think they should build a statue of Pep at the Camp Nou.

In the president's box. (CHUCKLES)

That's what I think anyway.


The best way to remember Guardiola's Barça is to put on a DVD and watch the matches we played during his four seasons here as manager.


VALDÉS: He invented a new way of playing.

He had a special group of players, but he knew exactly what to do with them.

He followed the philosophy of his maestro, the man who taught us all, Johan Cruyff.


ALVES: It's a bit like the best cars.

Cruyff was the first great model, the Mark 1 and Pep is the Mark 2.

But I think Xavi will be in the same league when he returns as coach.

When he comes back, he'll be the Mark 3.

JORDI: In my father's mind, he was always el listo de la clase, the intelligent one of the class, the clever guy.

The only problem will be that when already now everybody is pumping this up, then the pressure's too high.

But if he follows his way, little by little, calm, like Pep did, then you're ready for it.

And I hope Xavi one day will do that.


Barça's future needs to be in the hands of someone with Xavi's talent and vision.


I've got no doubt that he'll be back as a coach one day.

He deserves the chance because of the type of player he was here.

He'll make an amazing manager.

As a player he saw the whole picture from the pitch.

I'm sure from the side-lines, he'll see it even clearer.

He'll be back one day.

I don't know when but he wants to come back.

And he has the same football philosophy as Pep.


The world is watching us because they see we're different.

And they're right, we are.

But now we have a huge responsibility to ensure that all of this continues to grow.


The one thing that has never changed in all my years here is the way we play football.

Players come and go, but the philosophy never changes.


We believe in this philosophy, which is improved every year and by each Barça manager.

But the day things start to go wrong, and let's hope that isn't for another 200 years, but if it happens, we must never consider changing our playing style.

Our unique philosophy should never change. Never.


INTERVIEWER: This documentary can't end without asking you about your memories of those four years.


When I think about that time it fills me with nostalgia and happiness.

In my opinion, during those four years, all the stars aligned at the perfect moment.

The fundamental reason for the success was the immense talent of those players.

It's them who have to perform.

I like to use golf as an example, because as managers we're caddies.

We hand the club to the player, but they get the ball on the green and put it in the hole.


Everyone played their part and everyone knew their role.

They all knew Messi was the best and no one wanted to take his crown.

The home-grown players had very important roles.

The foreign players played their part too.

It all unfolded naturally without having to tell players, "You have to do this or you have to do that."

The roles within the group were shared out and if anyone didn't like it, they left.

That was how we built something special and kept it going for so long.


I think we provoked an emotional reaction.

When you remember titles, really they're just numbers and nothing more.

But there were a lot of people who really loved watching us play.


We all remember the two Champions League finals, especially the second one.

For around 20-25 minutes, from the 46th minute until our third, we were tremendous.

That was a perfect illustration of how we wanted them to play.

We were a young group of coaches trying to convince a team of unique players to do something different and it worked well for four years.


People become managers for all kinds of different reasons.

My motivation is tactics.

That's why I became a coach, to dissect the game and find solutions.

The basic concept, which Johan Cruyff injected into our veins many years ago, was that doing the simple things well gave you a 75% chance of winning.

And one of the simplest things is passing the ball.

After that, things get more complicated.

But the pass is what unites the group.

The ball is moved around the pitch from one player to another.

Everyone participates in the game plan by making that pass.

That's what we worked on from day one.


I'm often asked if it was the greatest team ever or one of the greatest.

And it's a question that doesn't have an answer.

It's like a new book that's published, is it good or not?

Or a new film that premieres, is it any good?

We'll know the answer in 25 years.

It depends if people are still talking about us.

If after 25 years we're still taking about a book, it's good.

If we're still watching a film in 25 years time, it must be good.

The same will happen with our team.

But were we better than Sacchi's Milan or Pelé's Brazil, or Johan's Ajax?

Everyone will have their opinion, which they'll defend passionately.

I would tell you that my team was brilliant, but Johan would argue that his team was better.

And Arrigo Sacchi would say the same about his Milan side.

And we'd all be in the right.

But if they remember us in 25 years time, they won't talk about the titles we won, they'll talk about how we played.

If they remember us, it's because they enjoyed watching us.

But that's the big mystery. Will we be remembered or not?