FOOTBALL fans have been left dumbfounded after Pep Guardiola’s remark about watching Manchester United’s treble-winning side “as a little boy”.
The Spaniard, 52, is hoping to replicate Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1998/99 team with Manchester City as they eye the FA Cup and Champions League titles to go with their Premier League trophy.
If they accomplish the feat, they will become just the second side in English history to win all three trophies in the same season.
But Guardiola has baffled the footballing community with comments about where he was during Man Utd‘s Treble triumph.
Aged 28, he was captain of Barcelona at the time.
And the Catalan giants even came up against Ferguson’s United in the group stage of the Champions League that season, albeit without Guardiola as he was ruled out of both games with a knee injury.
Yet despite being in the prime of his career, Guardiola has bizarrely claimed he was a child at the final – held in Barcelona – when United secured the Champions League in dramatic fashion against Bayern Munich.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I will start to think about the treble if we are able to go to Istanbul [to face Inter in the Champions League final] with the two titles in the pocket.
“Then after, I will concede: ‘Okay, we won one title, we can do it’.
“It was once in the lifetime in the UK, one team, it was United, the way they won against Bayern Munich in Camp Nou. I was there as a little boy.”
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Guardiola’s comments have been ridiculed by fans on social media – who were quick to point out his age in 1999.
One said: “As a little boy? Bro was 28 years old and Barcelona captain lmao 😂😂.”
Another added: “I am shocked….. this man can lie 😂😂😂 Pep was almost at the end of his playing career in 1999 😂😂 little boy.”
And a third replied: “Dude was 28 years old and captain of FC Barcelona in 1999. Who is he kidding??”
It has been suggested the phrase “little boy” was lost in translation, with Guardiola meaning “young man”.
He had won five LaLiga titles and one European Cup by the time Man Utd claimed their Treble.
The last of his 11 seasons in Barcelona’s first team came in 2000/01, before he moved to Italy and ended up retiring in 2006 after stints in Qatar and Mexico.
Guardiola is gearing his Man City side up for their final Premier League game of the season away at Brentford on Sunday.
They then face Man Utd in the FA Cup final on June 3, before the Champions League final seven days later against Inter Milan.
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