Josep “Pep” Guardiola i Sala was born and raised in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
I expected Guardiola to be at least mildly Catholic, as I expect of most Spaniards. But I couldn’t find a shred of evidence that he even thinks about religion all that much. It seems most likely that he joins the quarter of the population of Spain that considers itself non-religious. Maybe that’s why he has decided to stay in the much more secular New York City for the time being.
If any of you readers know anything about Guardiola’s religion that I missed, drop us a line in the comments. We appreciate the help.
As far as politics are concerned, Guardiola has a little more to say. He is a strong and vocal advocate for Catalan independence. He grew up in Catalonia, and spent much of his football career, as both a player and coach, with Barcelona’s team, and he feels great pride for his home. He said,
I feel a strong bond to my country, Catalonia. I feel a strong bond to what I feel inside my head and my heart. A country that for 800 years has had its own language. . . so one feels this as part of him.
When asked in one interview why he speaks to journalists in Catalan, he responded,
We are a country with our own language and when we leave its borders, those of us that speak it, use it.
Although Guardiola was living in New York in 2012, he sent a video message of his support for his country’s independence from Spain during a demonstration on the National Day of Catalonia. His message to his fellow Catalans was,
Here’s one more vote for independence.
If Catalonia ever does manage to secede, and gets a place in the World Cup with its national team, there’s no doubt that Guardiola will be right there with them, barking directions from the sideline in Catalan.