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Mar 26, 2014

Pep left Barca for personal reasons

With only one point separating the top of the table, the FC crew dissects the La Liga title race ahead of the midweek matches.

Pep Guardiola has disputed reports that he left Barcelona because he felt he could no longer lift the club’s players.

• Ledwith: Xavi and Barca ready to battle

“Maybe I did not explain myself well,” Guardiola told Mundo Deportivo. “It was a purely personal matter. I felt the moment had come."

Guardiola, who led Bayern Munich to the quickest Bundesliga title in history on Tuesday with a 3-1 win against Hertha Berlin, left the Camp Nou in 2012 after winning 14 trophies in four seasons.

He had been reported as saying that he was no longer able to reach his team, and that realisation had convinced him to move on.

“They are responsible for all the successes we achieved, just like those of Bayern," he said. "Barca’s players motivate themselves. I did not teach Xavi [Hernandez] or [Andres] Iniesta to play.

“We coaches are there to give them a hand, but they have played that way for 20 years. Coaches do not make players play well. They played well enough without me.”

After falling short in La Liga and the Champions League during Guardiola’s final season at the Camp Nou, Barca won the domestic title with a record 100 points under successor Tito Vilanova the following year, even though he was absent for long spells through illness.

Guardiola has played down his part in that achievement, preferring instead to focus on the good work done by Vilanova.

“I would give myself a certain part of that, but that is a personal question,” Guardiola said. “With me they would not have had the success they had with Tito Vilanova.”

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