After Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund’s first leg in UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, the City head coach made some comments. Pep Guardiola remarked over the fees that Bundesliga clubs pay for players. Now, just before the second leg tonight, Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke answers Guardiola’s claims.
Before the first leg of the Eithad Stadium quarterfinal, that City later won 2-1, Guardiola talked to reporters.
“If one person knows in Manchester about Borussia Dortmund it is me,” he said.
“The culture of this club, the way they play and I will not find one single player from Borussia Dortmund without quality.”
He claimed: “They spend a lot of money on young players and pay a lot of money to agents to bring these players there because they have an incredible quality. Incredible.”
Was it praise or subtle undermining, when Pep continued: “Maybe they didn’t find this season the consistency in the Bundesliga to win every week but for two [knockout] games they are able to do anything.”
Watzke Answers Guardiola’s Claims
In response to this claim of German clubs paying exorbitant fees to agents, Watzke talked to BBC Sport.
“In the last five years they [City] have spent nearly €1bn (£870m/$1.2bn) on new players,” the 61-year-old said.
“In five years. Who has the possibility to make this? He has not to criticise other clubs” he continued about Pep.
“[Dortmund’s strategy] is working fantastic but it is difficult to develop a team with it because after two or three years, these young players, if they perform very, very well, like Erling Haaland or Jadon Sancho, then the biggest clubs in Europe want to buy them. This is the only way for Borussia Dortmund,” he then added about his own club.
“Dortmund is not a club where you must have big visions because you don’t have big money.”
He concluded: “If I had money like other clubs, who can spend €1bn in five or 10 years on the team, then you can have visions. What I want to have for the next years is that we get the status to be one of the best 10 or 12 clubs in Europe and normally to win some titles in Germany.”
And indeed, City is one of those clubs who can afford to splurge on new players. Guardiola has himself spent in excess of £750m ($1bn) on new players since joining in 2016.