Yaya Toure is not the first star to have fallen afoul of Pep Guardiola.
Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho
Pep Guardiola may be one of the greatest managers in world football but he seems to have a habit of rubbing people up the wrong way. Not unlike Manchester United foe Jose Mourinho, Guardiola seems to have a knack for bringing out the worst in some.
Yaya Toure’s spat with his boss is not the first time a player has fallen out of love with the former Barcelona boss, and it won’t be the last.
However while Mourinho can be brash and abrasive, it is Guardiola’s distance that has caused friction and dissonance with his players in the past.
Take a look at another five players who have fallen out with Guardiola:
It’s a good job that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is wearing the red of Manchester as there is no way Pep Guardiola would want him anywhere near Eastlands due to their previously frosty relationship. In 2009, Barcelona made the Swedish superstar the second most expensive player in world football when they signed him from Inter Milan.
However, it all quickly unravelled for the egocentric Swede as he was at times forced to play second fiddle to Camp Nou’s golden boy Lionel Messi, who was moved to a more central position.
Ibrahimovic lasted just one season at the club, and has spent the interim years lambasting his former coach. In his autobiography, the Manchester United striker described an angry confrontation with the ‘spineless coward’ Guardiola. The pair have yet to make up.
Barcelona's new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Once Guardiola left the Allianz Arena, Franck Ribery spoke of his relief at being allowed to play freely, frustrated by his former boss’ overly tactical brain. Ribery told Bild that his former boss ‘lacks experience’ and ‘talks too much’.
Guardiola however, has moved to play down reports of a rift, telling FourFourTwo that he ‘loves him very much’.
Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery and Juventus' Juan Cuadrado in action
Pep Guardiola’s first statement in management was taking an axe to the undeniably talented but seemingly negatively influencing trinity of Deco, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o. While he was unable to remove Eto’o immediately upon arrival, the first two were out the door by the end of the first transfer window.
Guardiola felt Deco was in decline and, like Ronaldinho, was in danger of leading Lionel Messi down a wrong path. He was subsequently whisked off to Chelsea and according to comments made in Marca in 2012, Deco does not hold his former boss in particularly high esteem.
“Guardiola was a good coach at Barcelona but I still say that he didn’t invent anything," he said. "To properly judge him you would have to see him elsewhere, at other clubs.”
While Guardiola made no secret of the fact that he did not want Eto’o at Camp Nou past his first transfer window, the Cameroonian hitman ended up scoring 36 goals in Guardiola’s first season, including a goal in the Champions League final against Manchester United.
His goalscoring stats weren’t enough to spare his execution however, and he was sold to Inter Milan in part-exchange for Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the end of the season. Eto’o has since labelled his former boss a ‘coward’ and that he showed him no respect.
Eto’o claimed that Guardiola even tried to shuffle him off to Uzbekistan, and that when the duo came face-to-face in the Champions League while Eto’o was at Inter Milan, the Spaniard only shook his hand when there were cameras around.
Bojan Krkic feels so sour about the end of his time at Camp Nou that he has declared via Radio Catalunya that he ‘wouldn’t go to dinner’ with either Guardiola or current Barcelona boss Luis Enrique. Having broke into the first-team at the age of 17, the Spaniard went about establishing himself as an heir to Lionel Messi despite being only three years his junior.
Bojan’s father told World Soccer Talk that Guardiola once broke a promise that he ‘would play some part in the Champions League final’ at Wembley in 2011, which brought about a deterioration in the relationship between manager and player.
Stoke City's Bojan Krkic celebrates scoring their first goal