According to Guardiola his team was “far better” than their English opponents, but he was frustrated at failing to win.
“We were far better than our opponent, received in the second leg an unnecessary goal and suddenly were eliminated. It was a very hard defeat for me. I had the impression that I didn’t reach my team anymore. If you can’t motivate your players as a coach anymore, then you know that the time has come to go.”
Does that mean, that he could still be Barcelona’s coach today, if Ramires hadn’t scored that amazing away goal for the Blues? Probably not, as his team also didn’t win the Spanish league in 2012 and clearly wasn’t as successful any more as it had been in the three years before.
Apparently it was his personal motivation that affected his decision. Manchester United coaching legend Sir Alex Ferguson was the perfect example of someone who could always motivate himself and his team again despite having a bad season with disappointing results. It seems as if Guardiola thought that his time at Barcelona had to be over and didn’t want to build a new team with which he could have tied in to the former successes.
The decision makers at Bayern will find this statement of their Spanish coach interesting, as they are hoping to have a longer era with Guardiola. Now as they know that one lost semi final in the Champions League can be enough for Guardiola and his team to lose their motivation, they will have to think about measures to avoid a similar situation with Bayern.
Maybe that’s the reason why they constantly change their team and bring in new players like Götze or Lewandowski. Like this they make sure that motivation shouldn’t be an issue because the new players want to achieve the same goals as the old team already did.
Football is a rapidly changing business and the teams that feel to comfortable with their current successes are doomed to eventually be outshone by some other hungrier teams. Barcelona right now are paying the price for failing to re-invent themselves, as they did when they were well beaten by Bayern last season.
So the best way to keep up Guardiola’s motivation might be avoid losing any decisive Champions League matches, but Bayern are probably not the only ones with that brilliant idea.
Maybe Guardiola should speak with Bayern’s former coach Heynckes to learn how to raise the motivation of the team after a decisive Champions League defeat against Chelsea.
In 2012 he ended up three times in second place in all the important competitions, including the unfortunate loss of the Champions League in penalties against the Blues in Bayern’s own stadium. Just one year later they won the treble – with the same coach.