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Ronaldinho among former Barcelona players spied on by manager

Ex-Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola reportedly spied on his players. (Christof Koepsel/Getty Images) Ex-Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola reportedly spied on his players. (Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Former Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola, who led the club to 14 titles over four seasons, reportedly spied on players from 2008-12, targeting the personal lives of Ronaldinho, Deco, Samuel Eto’o and current star defender Gerard Pique, according to FoxSoccer.com, citing a report from Spanish news outlet El Confidencial.

Guardiola, now on a one-year sabbatical after stepping down from his post at the end of last season, had enlisted in the services of detective agency Metodo 3 to monitor the lives of his players, taking a particular interest in Pique's relationship with pop star Shakira, in order to ensure club harmony, according to the report:

"The Metodo 3 detective agency spied on FC Barcelona players under orders from the then director of Security and now director general of Penitentiary Services for the Generalitat (autonomous government of Catalonia), Xavier Martorell. [D]uring the time that Pep managed the 'Azulgranas' first team he developed a good understanding and friendship with Martorell, who willingly helped Guardiola to be informed at all times."

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