Let's talk Mario Mandzukic and this week's "scandalous quotes".
According to a sequence of reports starting first with Mundo Deportivo and the Daily Mail before being run in Kicker yesterday, there are a whole series of quotes from Mario Mandzukic about how much Pep Guadiola didn't like him, held him back at Bayern Munich, before ultimately selling him. The whole sequence is incredibly childish and petty and it makes Mario Mandzukic look like a preening pre-pubescent.
The only problem with the entire idea is that the quotes seem to be entirely fabricated. Head to the Sportske Novosti website and there is no interview like that. There's an interview with Mario Mandzukic talking about what life is like at Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone, but nothing mentioning Pep Guardiola. Surely a paper with such a big scoop would lead with those quotes? Even going farther back, if you search for tagged posts on the site, there are no other Mario Mandzukic interviews in the last few months, so it's not like there was a second interview in the last couple weeks.
Let's try this another way: Open original interview: Ctrl+F "Guardiola": 0 results found. Pep Guardiola is mentioned zero times in that entire interview. Now for those those fabricated quotes, going off the Daily Mail's version: Ctrl+F "Guardiola": 4 results found. Last time I checked 4 did not equal 0.
But even more intriguing, here are the grand total of times in the English and German language media that the quotes have been sourced: 1. it's ESPN, and guess which article they link back to? The interview about Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone where Guardiola isn't even mentioned.
However, let's take a look at that Mundo Deportivo story's first lines (this is run through Google Translate because my Spanish is really rusty):
The front of Atletico Madrid gave an interview in the daily Sportske Novosti in which he reviewed his first months at the club mattress. But of course, he also spoke of other issues, including his role in the selection of Croatia or exit from Bayern Munich . - Mundo Deportivo
More non-sourcing. How delightful. So unless someone at Mundo Deportivo has intimate knowledge of something said off the record in that interview or has access to a super secret article no one else can seem to find, it looks like they've managed to sell an entirely fake story to everyone. Bravo, you've now managed to drag a player through the mud, sell it as anti-Guardiola, and have the sports media run in circles chasing their own tails. I hope you don't sleep at night.