I felt the absence of Guardiola during his season away from the spotlight.
During the previous four years, five or six days in advance of a match I was already looking to find the fixture list and kick-off times, pulling out from other ommitments. It was like attending a lecture, with the weekly pleasure of seeing his team.
With Pep the issues at set pieces, the intensity, the effort, all ceased to be transcendent. He broke with the idea of having two central midfielders, and proved wrong the accumulation of lies that surrounded football.
He gave Barcelona a certain touch that no other team had. The players were not like that before his arrival, nobody but him would have thought of giving the reins of play to Busquets and Iniesta, nor provide the transcendence for Gerard Pique to come out with the ball from the back.
There was a general idea sketched out, but his brushstrokes, which provided that extra ability and genius belonged to him. In January 2013, Guardiola committed himself to start managing and coaching Bayern Munich six months later. During that time, the squad led by Jupp Heynckes surprisingly emerged as champion of all competitions.
At times I thought that despite the contractual commitment, the club or even Pep himself would break the agreement, considering the magnitude of the performances of the team.