The reason why Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho’s ‘beef’ started

When the Premier League fixtures were announced, even the neutrals were taking a look at when the first Manchester derby of the season was going to be.

The undertone of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, coming to blows on the touchline, in charge of two of the biggest teams in world football, in the most successful league, was an exciting prospect. However, it could’ve been oh so different.

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Seeing the duo’s sheer delight, embracing one another, is quite sad, to be honest. It would make a great start to a Hollywood movie film trailer…’Two boys, once best of friends; now, sworn enemies. And only one can survive!” *dramatic music*.

The sadness only heightens when you read the following quote from Manchester United’s current gaffer:

“I still have a photo of that embrace.

“We were close.”

So, what went wrong? Why are we not talking about the greatest double-act since Zack Morris and AC Slater? And instead discussing a rivalry that is so bitter, it makes Ask Ketchum and Gary Oak’s hatred seem trivial?

It’s 2008, Barcelona are looking for their Frank Rijkaard replacement, and interviewed both Pep and Jose for the vacant position at the Nou Camp – Mourinho even suggested that he’d promote Pep to be his assistant.

All very friendly, so far. That’s until Pep was offered the job and Jose, licking his wounds, was cast aside and ended up in Italy with Inter Milan.

“There are people, much more intelligent than me, who manage to sell an image of themselves, completely different to mine, but deep down they are the same as me,”

Jose Mourinho

The former Chelsea manager later said the above, in regards to Pep, clearly believing that Guardiola had almost ‘tricked’ the Catalan board in giving him the Barca gig.