Bojan Krkic's father hits out at Guardiola

The 24-year-old attacker was tipped for big things at Barcelona but failed to make the grade and is now resurrecting his career with Stoke, where he is "playing like an animal"
The father of Bojan Krkic has slammed former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola and says he failed to give his son a consistent run of games to prove his worth at Camp Nou.

The 24-year-old came through the club's youth system before breaking into the first team as a teenager back in 2007, when he was tipped to follow in the footsteps of Lionel Messi and become their next attacking star.

But, despite making over 100 appearances for the club over the next four seasons, loan spells at Roma and AC Milan and Ajax followed before the forward joined Stoke City in the summer.

He has since flourished at the Britannia Stadium under Mark Hughes and Bojan's father believes he would have done the same in Catalonia had he been given a greater number of opportunities.

"Guardiola didn't give him continuity," he told the Mail on Sunday. "In the Copa del Rey, Bojan was the top goalscorer for Pep. He would score one or two goals in La Liga and then not play for weeks, it is very curious.

"In the title run in in 2010 he kept [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic on the bench. Bojan played and scored at Sevilla and Tenerife, they were decisive goals. And then at the end of the season they signed David Villa."

He then hinted at dressing room unrest inside the club as his son was preferred to several high profile players, adding: "They were international stars, they saw a little boy starting games.

"Sometimes Ronaldinho was on the bench and Bojan starts. You can imagine? It became very difficult, he wasn't welcomed in by everyone."

For all of his struggles in recent seasons, Bojan has begun to reproduce the form that marked him out as one of Europe's hottest prospects, with two Premier League goals in 11 league appearances for Stoke.

"At Stoke, he is playing like an animal. He saves his best for the big games. 

"He loves Mark Hughes and his training sessions are creative. He is playing behind the forward and he has the freedom to express himself but he is fighting for the team, too. 

"He chases everything, he works for the team. Against Arsenal, he ran and ran.

"My boy has suffered a lot in football. Too much. But it is a very long time since I have seen Bojan this happy. He is truly content at Stoke and, as a father, that's a warm feeling."