Guardiola was disrespectful to me, says Mandzukic

The Croatia international was not impressed with the way the ex-Barcelona boss treated him last season and has no regrets over his decision to leave

Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic has hit out at Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola for treating him with a lack of respect.

The Croatia international was a key figure in Jupp Heynckes’ treble-winning side in 2012-13, but the Spaniard’s arrival saw the 28-year-old spend much of last season on the bench.

The arrival of Robert Lewandowkski on a free transfer when his contract with Borussia Dortmund came to an end in June spelt the end for Mandzukic at the Allianz Arena and he has now revealed a lingering bitterness towards his former coach.

“Guardiola disappointed me. He didn’t treat me with respect. He didn’t let me become Bundesliga top scorer. Everything was twice as good under Jupp Heynckes – and that’s not just my opinion,” Mandzukic told Sportske Novosti.

“What if he were to invite me for a cup of coffee? It’s not going to happen… In my professional life, I don’t have to like or dislike any one, but if I feel a certain negative energy with someone, I try to avoid a person like that.

“I didn’t deserve to be treated like that after giving my all for Bayern for two seasons. I felt things change when he just came in. I tried hard to adapt, but you need two parties to want something to work in order to be successful. I realised there was no future for me at Bayern so I was resigned to leaving the club and had time to choose a new club.

“Guardiola made the decision not to play me in the DFB Pokal final. And he didn’t want me to win the top scorer title, so did not let me play toward the end of the season. It’s not really important to me, but it showed how disrespectful he was towards me. I would have had much more respect for me if he had just told me that I didn’t fit in his philosophy.

“For me, things were twice as good under Heynckes.”

Mandzukic joined Atletico in July for €22 million and has netted six goals in 12 appearances in all competitions so far for his new club.