Speaking to Spanish newspaper Público, Almería manager Juan Manuel Lillo (picture, on the left) confirmed that he would have become the new manager of Barcelona if Lluís Bassat would have won the presidential elections in 2003.
You would have been the coach of Barça with Guardiola acting as sports director and Lluís Bassat as president. Your name was nevertheless kept hidden. Why was that?
For reasons of consistency, because the message that was trasmitted by both the candidate and Pep himself was based on not giving any names. We felt bad about others doing that, and we wanted people to accept the candidacy of Lluís Bassat because of the ideas and because of who was going to be strategically leading the club, not through putting out names. Over time they accused us of being naive, but it was an act of consistency.
Back then you were in Italy for a few weeks to prepare the candidacy with Pep. He was then already thinking about becoming a coach or not yet?
He then still didn't have the coaching degree and he was still a player, but his love for Barça and how he wanted his Barça to be was already clear to him. At that time he looked at it from a management point of view with a coach who could transmit his ideas. What we then discussed could come close to what Barça is now. Pep lived with intensity what Bassat proposed him, he liked it, but without thinking further than that.
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