Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov were part of the two Manchester United squads that were dominated by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals; the former United duo criticised Man City’s lack of personalities after their Champions League exit to Real Madrid
Man City boss Pep Guardiola has hit back at criticism of his squad’s character from Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov by saying, “I didn’t see this personality when I destroyed them” in two Champions League finals.
Evra and Berbatov were part of the United squads which were outclassed by Guardiola’s Barcelona in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, tasting defeat on both occasions.
After City crashed out of the Champions League semi-final at Real Madrid following a Rodrygo double inside a minute at the Bernabeu, Evra claimed they lacked leaders because Guardiola “can’t train people with personality” and Berbatov suggested it was the capitulation of a “small team”.
City shrugged off the disappointment of the dramatic defeat in Madrid by scoring five goals in consecutive games against Wolves and Newcastle to leave themselves in a commanding position in the title race.
But the criticism from the former United players was still fresh in the mind of Guardiola when asked about City’s recovery from that result and the character they have shown, as he unleashed a scathing response.
It’s the same character and personality that we lost in Madrid in the last two or three minutes,” said Guardiola of his side’s form in the Premier League since the trip to Spain.
“Former players like Berbatov, Clarence Seedorf and Patrice Evra and these types of people were there, and I played against them. I didn’t see this kind of personality when I destroyed them, we destroyed them, in the Champions League final against United.
It’s the same character and personality. You cannot have personality because we conceded two goals in one minute when we have two chances to score?
“And after the last four games, we score 22 goals, and we have an incredible personality.”