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'I wasn't good enough' – Guardiola reveals failed attempt to join Wigan

9:49 AM GMT+8 19/02/2018
Pep Guardiola Man City yellow ribbon
The club turned down the Spaniard down as a player, but will have to face him as a manager on Monday

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola revealed he almost joined Wigan Athletic as a player, only to be rejected because he "was not good enough".

Guardiola made more than 350 appearances for Barcelona, winning six LaLiga titles and a European Cup among numerous other trophies.

But the Spaniard – then in his mid-30s and having just had a stint at Al-Ahli – wanted a switch to England in 2005, with Wigan a possibility.

Ahead of his City side's trip to Wigan in the FA Cup on Monday, Guardiola confirmed he wanted a move to the then-Premier League new boys.

"Yeah, years ago," he said.

"I wasn't good enough, that is the truth. I was old, really old to come here.

"I knocked the door, I tried to come here to play in English football as a football player but I was not able.

"It was the same as when I tried to come here with Stuart Pearce. They were so clever. I wasn't good enough."

Guardiola's all-conquering City head to League One high-flyers Wigan as hot favourites to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Wigan manager Paul Cook said he had no plans to treat his Spanish counterpart much differently to other bosses.

Asked if he had a drink for Guardiola, Cook said: "A can of Skol!

"We respect Pep but our drinks cabinet won't change for anybody. I think we got [West Ham manager] David Moyes a £12 bottle of wine from Tesco.

"We'll show him the utmost respect and I'm sure by the time he leaves he'll have a good experience of Wigan."