Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola used a private detective agency to keep tabs on his squad, according to reports in the Spanish media.
Newspaper El Confidencial claims Guardiola hired Método 3 to see what his players were up to away from the club. Among the firm’s targets was Gerard Pique, who came under surveillance after starting his relationship with pop star Shakira.
Ronaldinho, Deco and Samuel Eto’o also came under the watchful gaze of Pep’s spies.
The reports suggest Guardiola would also phone his players’ landlines to make sure they were at home at appropriate times.
A club source told El Confidencial: “He was obsessed with what the players did in their private lives and that they did not go out on the town because later they would not they perform on the pitch.”
But the spies were obviously not exactly super-sleuths. At one point Pique allegedly reported to Guardiola that he was being followed. The club told their centre-back that their enquiries had found that it was a gossip columnist who was trailing him.