Pep is watching... (Getty)
According to Spanish digital newspaper El Confidencial, former Barcelona manager and next Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola used a detective agency to keep tabs on defender Gerard Pique when he started dating Shakira.
And Pique supposedly wasn't the only player subjected to a bit of snooping to help Barca ensure the perfect harmony necessary to foster the unprecedented levels of success they achieved under Guardiola.
From Football Espana:
El Confidencial are alleging today that the club’s Coach from 2008 to 2012 ordered the detective agency Metodo 3 to follow the centre-back, before and during the early days of his relationship with pop singer Shakira, to see that he was ‘leading an orderly life’. [...]
El Confidencial quote a source who worked at the club during the time and ‘was close to the players’ as saying that Guardiola and [director of external relations Manel] Estiarte did not hesitate in using the detective agency if they suspected a player was leading an unhealthy lifestyle that could affect their on-pitch performance.
These allegations tie in with reports that emerged in 2010 of the club spying on Deco, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o during the 2007-08 season, after which it was decided upon Guardiola’s arrival that they would be sold.
El Confidencial's source says that Guardiola was "obsessed" with his players' personal lives, which is consistent with previous reports of him clashing with Pique over his public relationship and personal activities with Shakira.
But the investigation into Pique's love life apparently didn't turn up much. Just that he liked to hang out a specific cocktail bar with friends. Shakira isn't exactly the most controversial of pop singers, after all. And now the couple have a child together.
Deco and Ronaldinho were sold in 2008, however. Eto'o was then dealt to Inter in 2009 for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who challenged Guardiola in entirely different ways.
So if these detective stories are true, will this be something Guardiola carries over to Bayern? Franck Ribery probably could use an investigator keeping an eye on him all the time always.