London (AFP) – ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ by Manchester band Oasis has become the city’s anthem since last year’s terror attack, and is one that has had a powerful impact on Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
The 47-year-old Spaniard’s wife and daughters escaped unharmed from the bombing at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May last year which left 22 dead.
Guardiola said in a wide-ranging interview — topics included his thoughts on the refugee crisis — that he and his family sing it in unison when they go out together.
“I like that, after what happened in Manchester at the arena, now it is a song for the people, you know? ” Guardiola told the BBC website.
“Like in the video when everyone is in silence and one woman starts to sing the song and everybody sings, that is a moment, it was so touching for my family and for myself.”
Guardiola admits the song “puts me in the best of myself when I listen — it’s a masterpiece”. On the night of the attack, Guardiola and his son did not attend the concert, but endured some nervous moments when they could not contact the rest of the family.
“At the end we were lucky,” he said.
“Many people suffered, and we were lucky. Life is like this. We were in a better position than many unfortunate ones.”
– ‘It’s about humanity’ –
Guardiola lists five other songs which resonate with him — two from his beloved Catalonia, including the 1970 song Fiesta by Joan Manuel Serrat.
“I was not a guy who went to a lot of parties. At 13 years old I was going to Barcelona’s academy,” he said.
“In the summer, when school was finished, everyone would go to the Sant Joan party and it’s a song that reminds me a lot of my little town of Santpedor when I was young.”
Guardiola also named Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ and ‘Ole Blue Eyes’, as well as Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York New York’, where the Spaniard spent time during the sabbatical that followed his hugely successful spell in charge of Barcelona.
“Sinatra was a fighter; he had work ethic, not just the talent,” he said.
Guardiola reveals he, too, had to fight when he was in New York, to learn German ahead of taking up the head coaching role at Bayern Munich.
“It is so complicated to learn,” said Guardiola.
“Three or four hours a day in the morning with the grammar, after two months I thought: I’m going to call and break the contract.
“It is so complicated even for German kids to learn. Can you imagine for a 41-year-old man?
“But I am stubborn.”
Guardiola’s colleagues — save perhaps Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp — are renowned for not being too aware of what is going on in the outside world, but it is not an accusation one can level at the Spaniard.
He has strong thoughts on the refugee crisis, drawing a parallel with the Spanish Civil War and how doors abroad that were opened to those who fled it are now closed.
“All around the Mediterranean people are dying and the governments in Italy, Spain, it is not allowed for the people to rescue the people who are dying.,” he said.
“I don’t know what kind of society we are going to do because it’s not about the law, it’s about humanity.
“If there are people dying and heroes going in with open arms to rescue them, and the governments don’t let them do that, it’s because we are going really, really bad.”
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