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Pep Guardiola Will Miss Two Games Due To Back Surgery

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Pep Guardiola Will Miss Two Games Due To Back Surgery

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Pep Guardiola will not be on the sidelines for Manchester City’s upcoming two matches due to undergoing surgery to address his severe back pain. The 52-year-old football manager underwent a procedure in Barcelona on Tuesday. As a result of his recovery period, he will be absent from Manchester City’s upcoming two matches against Sheffield United and Fulham.

As stated by the club, their manager who led them to a treble victory has been dealing with this injury for some time. On Tuesday, he traveled to Barcelona for what was described as an “emergency” yet “routine” surgery, which has been deemed successful.

Guardiola will remain in Barcelona to recover and is anticipated to resume his responsibilities after the international break in September. The club provided minimal information about Guardiola’s condition in a brief statement.

During his recovery period, the 52-year-old Guardiola will stay in Barcelona. Consequently, he is likely to be absent for Manchester City’s games against Sheffield United on Sunday and Fulham on September 2nd. In his absence, assistant manager Juanma Lillo will take charge. The club anticipates Guardiola’s return to the managerial role after the international break, specifically for the match against West Ham on September 16th.

Manchester City currently holds the second position in the Premier League standings, having accumulated six points through wins against Burnley and Newcastle.


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Lillo, aged 57, initially joined the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2020. He took over the position of Guardiola’s assistant, succeeding Mikel Arteta. Before his time with City, Lillo had led Qingdao Huanghai to promotion to the top-tier Chinese Super League. He departed before City’s treble-winning campaign last season to assume the role of head coach at Al-Sadd in Qatar. However, he returned to City earlier this month.

Lillo has had a varied and well-traveled career. In addition to coaching in his home country of Spain, he has managed teams in Colombia and Japan. He also worked as an assistant to Jorge Sampaoli with the Chile national team.

Upon Lillo’s return to the north-west, Guardiola expressed his heartfelt admiration and praise for him. He highlighted Lillo’s diligent and meticulous approach, underscoring his dedication and hard work.

“Juanma sees things no-one else in the game sees. He understands football on an incredible level, so he is the perfect person for me to work alongside. His preparation for matches is absolutely amazing. I know he will raise standards because he works so hard every single day,” Guardiola said.

Man City has previously encountered situations where they had to manage without their manager, starting from Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2016.

During the middle of 2018, Guardiola faced a Champions League touchline ban. Consequently, he entrusted Mikel Arteta with managerial responsibilities for the visit of Lyon in September of that year. Unfortunately, City lost the group-stage game with a score of 2-1. Additionally, at the outset of 2022, Guardiola was unable to lead the team in an FA Cup third-round match against Swindon Town due to his contraction of coronavirus.

In that particular instance, both Guardiola and assistant Lillo were unavailable for the game. As a result, assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell assumed the managerial role. Remarkably, despite the challenge of 14 backroom staff members and seven first-team players being in isolation due to Covid-19, City managed to secure a 4-1 victory in the match.


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