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Pep va a Torino, in Italia da quattro anni?

Pep Guardiola made Premier League history with Manchester City this season

(Getty)

Pep Guardiola — the famed Catalan soccer manager who played for and then coached FC Barcelona to glory with this player named Lionel Messi — is the subject of a rumor reaching a fever pitch level.

Is Pep heading to Turin, Italy to coach the Old Lady, commonly known as Juventus?

Speculation in Italian media is that the current Man City man has agreed to a 4-year deal to lead Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus.

Just last week, Pep reiterated his reported denial of a move to Italy.

“How many times do I have to say? I’m not going to go to Juventus, I’m not going to move to Italy.”

But that was last week. Conditions, like those on the pitch during a game, can change.

While confirmation hasn’t been declared by Pep or Man City, this move would fit with the coach’s recent stints in Germany coaching Bayern Munich for three seasons and just finishing up his third season in England coaching Manchester City. This kind of move seems inevitable as Pep appears to be seeking continental club glory.

Literally.

And this is why this rumor should, at least, be entertained. Whether a move to Italy happens or not, it fits with Pep’s pattern of coaching European powerhouse clubs in different countries for just a few years at a time.

Here’s a quick rundown of Pep’s trophy case as a head coach:

  • FC Barcelona 14 trophies (2009 Copa del Rey, La Liga, Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup; 2010 La Liga, Spanish Super Cup; 2011 La Liga, Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup; 2012 Club World Cup, Copa del Rey)
  • Bayern Munich – 10 trophies (2013 German Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup; 2014 Bundesliga, German Super Cup, DFB-Pokal; 2015 German Super Club, Bundesliga, German Super Cup; 2016 Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal)
  • Manchester City – 5 trophies (2018 Premier League, League Cup; 2019 Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup)

The 48-year-old soccer manager still has at least a couple more decades coaching at the highest level, which is where he’s at right now. And since Pep hasn’t won the Champions League since leaving Barça — getting ever so close in Germany and England — there is a strong chance that the Catalan is yearning to cap his club coaching career with at least one more Champions League title in a country other than Spain without Lionel Messi before tackling a full World Cup cycle(s).

We’ll see if Pep’s pursuit of a return to Champions League glory will be attempted with Man City or Juventus this upcoming season. Something to consider from his perspective is that the chance to coach an in-form 34-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo may prove to be too tempting at this point.

Future Prediction: If Erik ten Hag, formerly of Pep’s coaching tree at Bayern Munich, doesn’t win the Champions League with Ajax during the next few seasons, then it would not be inconceivable that Pep moves to Amsterdam to coach the aforementioned club in the Johan Cruyff ArenA in a few years.

Or, staying in the same time period stated immediately above, Pep could move to Amsterdam but coach the Dutch national team instead to try and help the small yet historically soccer-rich country win its first World Cup. Winning at this level for the Netherlands would make for an incredible full-circle career, doing something special for his late dear friend, former coach and footballing inspiration, Dutch (and FC Barcelona and Ajax) legend Johan Cruyff whose Total Football legacy that started with fellow Dutchman Rinus Michels remains the prominent philosophy over him and modern soccer.

If there’s anyone in soccer who knows with acute detail where the ball will move next, it’s Pep. And if there’s anyone in soccer who knows with clarity and awareness where his admired and prized philosophy is wanted, it’s Pep.

Italian soccer, like Germany and England during the past six seasons, may never be the same again.

Waiting to Be Seen

Batman isn’t the only one who confronts an enigmatic two-face.

Netflix, fresh off its freshman sensation Stranger Things, is releasing a documentary about the insane public trial (in more ways than one) of American student studying abroad Amanda Knox. In producing this documentary, Netflix has created a new “Upside Down” of sorts that recalls the real world saga of an international murder trial that spotlighted an American, an Italian and a Brit. However you feel (or felt) about the final verdict that allowed Ms. Knox and then Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito to ultimately walk in October 2011, there were paranormal elements seen in this trial and in the events before, during and after someone murdered British student Meredith Kercher.

And Netflix is banking on your continued intrigue in the paranormal, this time focused on Amanda Knox. If you remember, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito did spend time in Italian prisons. The time spent in prison was just one chapter of a complex story that still has questions lingering. For anybody who read Amanda Knox’s captivating book “Waiting to Be Heard” (my hand is raised), it extensively detailed her experiences, her trials and tribulations that were, at times, emotionally overwhelming and insightful, yet brutal in its acutely revealing nature.

Excluding the lawyers, investigators, forensic professionals, police interrogators, prison staff, cellmates, Patrick Lumumba, families and friends, there were four primary players:

  • Amanda Knox
  • Raffaele Sollecito
  • Meredith Kercher (RIP)
  • Rudy Guede

For those who favor logic and believe Rudy Guede was the lone killer, Netflix has a trailer for you.

“Believe Her”

For those who reject the linear circumstances and analysis of crime scene evidence for nearly all murders, Netflix has a trailer for you.

“Suspect Her”

Netflix, cognizant of the fierce debate concerning Amanda Knox, is brilliantly marketing its documentary Amanda Knox that will start streaming on September 30th. Whether you are passionately in the camp of innocence or guilt for Amanda Knox, what transcends this murder case above so many are the foreign (and ridiculous) procedures and protocols in the Italian police and court systems, as well as the reality that one cannot help but briefly and frequently ponder the question, “What really happened in the Perugia apartment that night?”

This lingering curiosity, after all these years, may not sway you from your initial convictions. But that imaginative inquisitiveness is there nonetheless…

And Netflix has documented this suspicious intrigue like a courtroom drama.

The Munich Empire Takes Rome

Rome’s defensive force just isn’t what it used to be.

Bundesliga juggernaut Bayern Munich traveled to Rome for a Champions League match against AS Roma yesterday. In the dawn of this season, FC Holywood was struggling (meaning they actually lost and/or tied a game or two). These minor hiccups (following a successful, hard fought World Cup for many of its star players mind you) are extrapolated because the expectations continue to be astronomical for Pep Guardiola after guiding a golden generation at Barcelona and the fact that he had the impossible task of directly following Jupp Heynckes’ record-breaking, treble winning season. Actually, Pep’s won everything Jupp did in that unforgettable 2012-2013 season, except a Champions league title. Sort of a big omission. Pep had a few words about his strategy in the disastrous semi-final leg versus Real Madrid, but this is a family-friendly blog. To paraphrase, he said ‘it was his biggest goof of his career.’ Still, thus far, Bayern Munich has earned two 1-nil victories in their 2014-2015 Champions League quest against Manchester City and CSKA Moscow. Next up was s trip to Italy against AS Roma.

In-depth analysis could break this game down, but someone graciously compiled a video that encapsulates the tone and feel of the match…in 6 seconds.

(Just click on the video to pause it)

Bayern Munich 7-1 AS Roma.

Pep’s Boys are officially back in top form. Simply put, this was a statement game for a final that won’t be played for around 7 months on June 6, 2015. And by the way, the UEFA Champions League Final is in Berlin at the Olympiastadion.

How do you say, “relentless focus” in German?

Looks like Pep’s rewriting it so that it starts with Bayern and ends in Munich (technically Berlin, but you know what I’m saying).

Got Slogans?

A recent article on CNN revealed the winning slogans for all the teams that will be playing at the World Cup in Brazil this summer. The winning slogans, written by fans from each country, will be displayed on the team buses for all to see during the tournament. A few are good, but most of them are bad.

Solution?

Here is Jimmy’s Daily Planet’s list of better, more realistic team mottoes for some of the 32 teams that will compete in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil:

Algeria: “Yes, We’ll Keep Track of Landon Donovan This Time”

Argentina: “We Have Lionel Messi, So Yeah”

Australia: “Forget Kangaroos, We’re Bringing Our Damn Crocodiles!”

Belgium: “At the End of This, You’ll All Be Eating Waffles”

Bosnia and Herzegovina: “If You Lose to Us, Everybody Will Know”

Brazil: “Win or Lose, We’ll Be in the Final!”

Colombia: “We Brought Our Own White Powder to Line the Fields With…”

England: “Excited For Our 10-Day Vacation Every 4 Years!”

Ghana: “Time to Beat the U.S. Again”

Honduras: “Just Happy to Be Here”

Italy: “And You Thought a Flower Blew Over Easily”

Japan: “We Have the Sudoku of Defenses”

Mexico: “We Have No Idea How We Got Such an Easy Group Again (Ju$t Kidding, We Know)”

Holland: “Real Men Wear Orange” (It’s the real one, but it’s so awesome & true!)

Portugal: “We Have a Star Player Named Ronaldo Who Speaks Portuguese Playing at the World Cup in Brazil…I Mean, C’mon”

Russia: “What’s This Rule About Wearing Jerseys?”

Spain: “Hey, Does Anybody Care or Want to See the World Cup Right Now!?”

Switzerland: “We Don’t Want to Offend or Defend Anyone”

Uruguay: “South America’s ‘Middle Child’ Will Be Kicking Butts & Taking Names!”

The United States of America: “One Nation, Under God, We’re Praying”

A little truth in advertising doesn’t hurt. It definitely revealed how Spain would fare 4 years ago with their simple slogan:

Spain in 2010: “We’re Going to Win”

P.S. You have no idea how painful it was for me to write that as a longtime and dedicated Dutch fan…just one delicate foot deflection away!

Damn, it still hurts.