Pep Guardiola has revealed that he was very close to signing for Wigan Athletic 13 years ago in the wee end of his career but the deal fell through as he 'was not good enough', by his own admission. The former Barcelona man will make his way to the DW Stadium later today for Manchester City's fifth-round FA Cup game.
Wigan manager Paul Jewell actually thought he had agreed to a deal with Guardiola, then 34, to move to Lancashire as the ex-Barcelona player sought a deal in England towards the end of his career. However, the move fell through as the Spaniard eventually decided to take up an offer in Mexico.
However, Guardiola was extremely modest when recalling the events from that period, stating that the deal fell through as he was not good enough. He was also in touch with his current employers City in the summer of 2005 but was eventually unable to complete a move to England as a player.
"Yeah, it was years ago," said Guardiola, as quoted by the Telegraph. "But I was not good enough! That is the truth, yeah.
"I was old, really old, as a football player to come here. I tried to come here to play in English football but I was not able. The same happened when I came here to Manchester City, with Stuart Pearce. They were so clever!
"They were so clever because I was not good enough! Wigan were interested in me, I didn't choose the club. It didn't happen and that's all."
Meanwhile, Guardiola has confirmed that Claudio Bravo is his first choice goalkeeper in domestic competitions. The Chilean has played a massive part in wins over Bournemouth and West Ham in the FA Cup and is also likely to make the starting eleven in the Carabao Cup final against Arsenal next weekend.
"He's going to play, Claudio," said Guardiola. "We are in the Carabao Cup Final thanks to him. So I cannot forget what happened, he saved two rounds of penalties, and the way he played, the safest, in the Carabao Cup. That is the decision this season. The other (competitions), we will see."