COPENHAGEN - Barcelona's normally
mild-mannered coach Pep Guardiola had an extremely
uncharacteristic loss of cool after his side were held to a 1-1
draw by FC Copenhagen in Champions League Group D on Tuesday.
The 39-year-old argued with his counterpart Stale Solbakken
on the touchline after the whistle and slammed the Norwegian in
his post-match news conference and television interviews.
"Ask him (Solbakken) what happened, he knows how to
manipulate the media very well," Guardiola told Spanish
television when quizzed about the touchline incident. "I think
he has behaved very badly in this situation."
The dispute goes back to Barca's 2-0 win over the Danish
champions in the Catalan capital last month, when goalkeeper
Jose Manuel Pinto tricked Copenhagen player Cesar Santin into
believing he was offside.
Copenhagen made a formal complaint to European football's
governing body UEFA over the incident and Pinto was banned for
Guardiola took exception to comments from Solbakken on
Monday suggesting Pinto's punishment was not harsh enough.
"What he cannot do is ask for a four-match ban for Pinto and
say that Pinto is a bad apple," Guardiola said.
"Pinto is a player who goes in for fair play and he's an
important part of our dressing room," the former Barca player
added. "I don't think a coach should do something like that."
Solbakken, speaking to Spanish TV, said the club had
reported the Pinto incident to UEFA to try to protect Santin and
put the dispute with Guardiola down to a misunderstanding.
"I don't care if Pinto is sitting on the bench or on the
sofa at home," the 42-year-old said.
"We wanted to protect Cesar because he looked stupid and had
a bad time after that."
"After we had shaken hands he started to say something about
UEFA and I think he meant the whistling incident," he told a
"I said that he (Pinto) should have got five games, that was
just a bad Norwegian joke.
"Maybe he doesn't understand Norwegian humour, I'll have to
take that on me.
"I really respect Guardiola, he's one of the finest coaches
but I think he was told something wrong."
Tuesday's result meant Barca missed a chance to qualify for
the last 16 with two matches to spare.
They top the group on eight points and Copenhagen are second
on seven. Rubin Kazan and Panathinaikos, who drew 0-0 in Russia
earlier on Tuesday, have three and two respectively.
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