Domenec Torrent worked with Pep Guardiola at FC Barcelona, FC Bayern and Manchester City for eleven years. In an interview with SPOX and goal the 58-year-old talks about shared experiences with the star coach and his often misunderstood idea of football.
Before the Champions League semi-finals between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain (from 9 p.m. on DAZN) Torrent also comments on Guardiola’s regular failure in the knockout phase of the premier class. He also reveals why he thinks Julian Nagelsmann is the right Bayern coach, why he and his wife would like to return to Munich one day and why he was sacked after just three months at the Brazilian top club Flamengo.
Mr Torrent, you worked as assistant coach to Pep Guardiola for eleven years and won 24 trophies with him – seven of them at FC Bayern. What memories do you have of your time together in Munich?
Domenec Torrent: When I think back to our time in Munich, I feel nothing but joy and gratitude. It’s been three fantastic years with a great club in a beautiful city. Pep and I talk more often about our shared experiences at FC Bayern. The many titles we’ve won. The beer showers afterwards. The parties in the cabin. The days off on the Isar or the many lakes in the vicinity of the city with our families. And of course the Oktoberfest. My wife and I have already said to each other that one day we want to live in Munich again. Maybe when we’re retired. We fell in love with this city.
What do you particularly miss about Munich?
Torrent on the CL balance with FC Bayern: “Very bitter”
With all the successes that you and Guardiola have celebrated with FC Bayern: In the Champions League you never made it past the semi-finals. Why?
Torrent: The Champions League shows how unfair football can sometimes be. In this competition, the team that invests the most work or plays the best football does not always triumph, but rather the team that is there at the right moments. An injury, a stupid goal, a missed penalty or even an unfortunate referee decision can kill you. That’s the annoyance of knockout games. Often a bad quarter of an hour is enough to drop out.
Like 2015 in Barcelona, when it was zero for over 70 minutes before Lionel Messi and Co. scored three goals.
Torrent: It was such an evening when everything bad for us came together. Our first problem: We had to compete without Ribery, Robben and Alaba. For Barca it would have been like missing Messi, Neymar and Pique. But we did well – until the 77th minute when the best player of all time scored an amazing goal. After that we could have said to ourselves: “Okay, let’s get in the back, we can make up the 0-1 deficit at home.” But that is not in the nature of FC Bayern. FC Bayern hates to lose. So the team threw everything forward and tried to equalize.
Why Hoeneß and Rummenigge?
Despite the 8-2 dismantling of your other heart club Barca?
Torrent: I’m a member of Barca and I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt me. Not the defeat itself, because you can lose against FC Bayern, but its clarity. I was shocked after the game. I had never seen anything like it before. But of course I kept my fingers crossed for FC Bayern afterwards. The triumph in Lisbon was so deserved and overdue. Now I wish Pep with all my heart that he can do it again.
Last season, Manchester City were eliminated in the quarter-finals against Olympique Lyon. Guardiola was then heavily criticized for his tactics. It was said that he was too cerebral.