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Jul 12, 2013

Barcelona VP 'surprised' by Pep attack

Barcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner has responded to former coach Pep Guardiola's outburst against president Sandro Rosell and the club's directors, saying it had surprised him.

The new Bayern Munich coach left Barca last summer after four seasons in charge and announced that he would be taking a year's sabbatical in New York.

However, Guardiola - whose first two years at Barca were under the presidency of Joan Laporta, who appointed him - told a press conference that Rosell and Barca had refused to grant him the "peace" he had requested.

He said: "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."

Guardiola also said 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 travelled to New York for cancer treatment.

"Too many things have happened that have crossed the line," he told reporters 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.

"To say that I don't wish the best of someone who was my colleague for so many years is in very bad taste, and I didn't expect that."

But a shocked Cardoner told Mundo Deportivo: "The truth is that I was very surprised. I have not understood [the things that were said].

"I imagine there will be some explanation behind these statements because the relationship between us - and I speak not only for myself but for the president too - has always been cordial.

"We have not used Tito's disease to go against him, and anyone who would do that is a bad person.

"When he announced that he was leaving, we respected it - perhaps, as Catalans, we did not understand, as we would have liked to have continued with him - but we respected him as a person.

"I am sure some erroneous information has reached him, and I guess I will talk with the president to clarify everything."

He added that "maybe Pep should talk to the president to reduce these differences".

Former president Laporta reacted to the row on Twitter, posting: "Guardiola deserves all appreciation from Barcelona for the excellent work he did, for his honesty and the values that he represents."

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