the past two years of my life have basically been a love letter to everything pep guardiola is.
i am terrible at expressing feelings without using caps lock or obscenities but only when it’s starting to hit me that pep will no longer be our coach do i realize what a big part of my day-to-day life he’s been. i didn’t decide to support barcelona on a whim. i did not read aloud its list of trophies and immediately declare myself a cule. i fell in love with this stupid goddamn team.
i use the term ‘we’ or ‘us’ a lot of the time when i’m talking about them, and that’s because i honestly feel as if i am part of them. and in a lot of ways, i am. i don’t think there’s really any other way to explain what made me break down and cry when we didn’t make the CL finals. it wasn’t not so much losing to chelsea that made me upset (although it is really very upsetting) but the looks on our players’ faces. when you become a part of something, especially a team like barca, their losses become your losses and their wins, your wins. i really do love this team.
pep is not the only reason i fell in love with fcb, but he has been such a huge part of it, because he is such a huge part of barcelona. he carries the history of it, the thrill of it, the absolute joy and sadness and intricacy and ferocity of it along with him. and i am so proud to have witnessed this fantastic fucking team under guardiola. i am so proud to be linked to him in my own little way. because he’s like us in certain ways—he was just this little kid sitting on the sidelines or at home on the sofa watching the game, and he was so immersed in all the beautiful things this team is that it essentially became his life. pep guardiola started out as a ball boy and became the coach who carved out a place for himself in all our hearts through his love for barcelona.
and how much he loves this team always showed. in his time as manager, there was rarely a moment when he wasn’t right by the pitch, motioning and miming the way he does. he was always right there, and i get the feeling that in his own way, he always will be. pep is barcelona. we are barcelona. and pep and the team and its fans and its history and every little win and even every little humbling loss makes me so proud of this team. i am so proud of us every single day.
i’ve gotten a handful of messages asking me about pep leaving us, and all i really have to say is thank you. thank you pep, for letting me be part of something much bigger than myself. thank you for being a part of who i am. thank you for bringing us so much joy. thank you for making me feel at home.
and thank you for the dumb coldplay playlists.
we love barca and we love you, pep. you will always be my hero, because to me, you are eternal.