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Jul 11, 2013

Rosell has crossed the line, Pep says

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has hit out at Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and the club's directors.

• Pep confirms Thiago interest

Guardiola left Barcelona in the summer of 2012 after four seasons in charge, saying he needed to "recharge my batteries", and announced he would be taking a year's sabbatical in New York.

However, Guardiola, whose first two years at Barca had come under Joan Laporta's presidency, told a press conference that Rosell had refused to grant him the "peace" he had requested when walking away from the Camp Nou.

"I told them [the president and his directors] I was going 6,000km away and asked them to leave me in peace, but they haven't kept their word," he said. "I did my time [at Barcelona] then decided to leave.

"I want them to get on with the job and I wish them all the success in the world, because their success will also be mine - I don't need to say what I feel for this club."

Guardiola revealed he had been incensed by the suggestion that he had not made the effort to see Tito Vilanova, his former assistant, when the current Barca coach had travelled to New York for cancer treatment.

"Too many things have happened that have crossed the line," Guardiola told the media in Lake Garda, where Bayern are holding a pre-season training camp. "I will never forget that they used Tito's illness to cause me damage, because it's a lie that I never saw him in New York.

"I saw him once, and the reason I didn't see him more often was because it wasn't possible, and that wasn't my fault. To say that I don't wish the best of someone who was my colleague for so many years is very bad taste, and I didn't expect that."

He added: "If any of the things I've said is not true, come out and rebut it, but it has to be them [Rosell and the board], not intermediaries or Barcelona messengers. Them."

Despite his anger, Guardiola intends to be cordial when Barcelona meet Bayern in a pre-season friendly on July 24.

"I did the best I could at Barcelona," he said. "The staff and coaches have nothing to worry about. I left and have nothing to complain about - all I asked was to be left in peace.

"I went off to learn English and I ended up trying to learn German. That was all I focused on. I just ask the board to go their own way and leave me alone and stop using me and my friends to hurt me."

Guardiola also wanted to make clear that he had not told Neymar's father that Vilanova would not be able to play the Brazilian in the same side as Lionel Messi.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed that Guardiola had sought to take Neymar to Bayern prior to the forward's Barca move, and Santos vice-president Odlio Rodrigues claimed the new Bayern coach had spoken to the player's father to try to dissuade him from joining the Blaugrana.

Guardiola insists that was not the case.

"I don't know the vice-president of Santos but probably his intermediaries have got this very wrong, because the information they have given him is false," he said. "I would never make any comments like those he said I made."

He added: "The best players can always play together and those two are capable of playing together for many years."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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