Keita: Guardiola always praised me but never played me

The Malian midfielder feels the former Barcelona coach should have shown more faith in his abilities rather than just offer words of encouragement in the press
Seydou Keita has voiced his dismay with the way Pep Guardiola treated him during his four-year spell at Barcelona.

The Mali international, who left the Blaugrana for Dalian Aerbin this summer, was often praised by his former coach, but had to settle for a place on the bench during his final years at Camp Nou.

"I heard and read all the time that Guardiola really rated me. Everybody thought we had a great relationship, because he was always very positive about me," Keita was quoted as saying by Match.

"However, I never really played much under Pep. That was the only negative thing about my spell at Barcelona.

"I did bring this up with Guardiola when we met face-to-face. I told him that I didn't appreciate it that he always praised me, but never started a match with me. I will never forget my time at Barca, though."

Despite his reservations, Keita made over 100 Liga appearances for Barca during his four years at the club.