For some reason, Pep Guardiola‘s still upset about the fact his “idol” Julia Roberts went to a Manchester United match back in 2016.
No, we’re not making this up.
Despite the fact that during his time as Manchester City manager alone, the Catalan coach has lead his team to four Premier League titles, four EFL Cups, and one FA Cup, as well as clinching the coveted domestic treble in the 2018-19 season, and breaking countless records along the way, he admits he still considers himself to be a “failure”.
He may be considered one of the greatest football managers of all time, and he may currently hold the records for the most consecutive league games won in La Liga, the Bundesliga, and the Premier League – but that’s not enough for Pep to see himself as successful, apparently.
And it’s all because Hollywood megastar Julia Roberts snubbed the Sky Blues to make a trip over to the red half of Manchester one fateful day back in 2016.
“I am a failure in the Champions League,” Guardiola said in his press conference last night after City smashed RB Leipzig 7-0 in the second leg of the Round of 16 in the Champions League.
“If I win the Champions League three times in a row, I will be a failure.”
He then went on to “explain a secret” to the listening journalists, and revealed that he has three idols in his life – Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Julia Roberts.
“These are my three idols,” he added.
“Julia Roberts years ago came to Manchester, not in the 90s when Sir Alex (Ferguson) was winning titles and titles and titles. She came in the period where we were better than United, in these four or five years, right?
“And she went to visit Man United. She didn’t come to see us.
“That’s why, even if I win the Champions League, it will not compare for the fact that Julia Roberts came to Manchester and didn’t come to see us.
“Even if I win the Champions League, it will not compare to this disappointment I had.”
The enigmatic manager has been known for saying some bizarre things in his press conferences and post match interviews throughout his career, but it’s fair to say this is up there as one of his most confusing – especially as he never actually went on to reveal why he considers Julia Roberts to be one of his idols.
Regardless of the lack of context, Manchester United still managed to have a bit of fun with it, and took to Twitter to rub it in.
The Red Devils shared a handful of pictures of actress and her family at their home stadium, with the caption: “Throwing it back to when Julia Roberts visited Old Trafford.”
And it doesn’t take a genius to work out this wasn’t a coincidental “throwback”.
Also in the same press conference, Pep explained explained why he chose to substitute record-breaking Erling Haaland after the star striker scored five goals in last night’s match – including two in two minutes, and a hattrick in the first half – before he had the chance to smash in another.
Ben Foster reveals he’s being paid ‘literally peanuts’ to play for Wrexham AFC
We refuse to believe any UK football fan didn’t let out a little smile upon hearing the news that Ben Foster came out of retirement to re-sign for Wrexham AFC nearly 20 years on from his first spell.
The 39-year-old goalkeeper called time on his playing days at the end of last season after slowly moving towards becoming a squad player-come-YouTuber over the past few years and having already enjoyed a long and successful career.
However, following a nudge from the coach and celebrity owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, he was convinced to lace up his boots once more and the former United, Stoke, West Brom and Watford man will now be playing between the sticks at the Racecourse Ground until the end of the season.
To make things even more wholesome, the Premier League veteran has confessed that transfer talks didn’t last long, confessing on his YouTube and Spotify show, the Fozcast: “To be honest, the negotiations took about five minutes”, adding that he’s been paid “literally peanuts”.
Nevertheless, Foster admitted that he doesn’t need much money after such a great career up and down the football pyramid and while “things changed a lot since [he] was last here”, he said, “it’s nice to be back” and labelled manager Phil Parkinson “top class”.
Parkinson, an EFL journeyman himself, had similarly complimentary words for the seasoned keeper, stating: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben to the club. With Rob Lainton getting injured at the weekend, it was important we had all bases covered going into the last part of the season, which this signing ensures.”
The ex-England international first played for Wrexham back in 2005 when he was loaned out by Stoke City and went on to win the EFL Trophy — his first-ever piece of silverware. Now he’s back to help them finally get out of the National League (currently three points clear at the top with a game in hand).
As for his expectations for the season, he said the goal is simple: “getting the team over the line and getting them promoted”, adding “I’m a very low-maintenance player. Just wheel me out, I’ll do a job.” Now that’s the kind of attitude we can get behind.
Speaking to talkSPORT after the sudden move, he revealed that the whole deal felt just as out of the blue for him too, detailing how he got a call from the manager after a bike ride one day and, before he knew it, he’d given them the thumbs up.
Shedding some light on his discussions with the Hollywood owners, he said that Reynolds “actually slid into [his] DMs” once the agreement had been confirmed, joking: “I’m buzzing I’ve got Ryan Reynolds in there, I ain’t even replied to him! I’ll leave him hanging for a bit!”
He went on to admit that he actually approached him first, messaging, “I used to play for Wrexham and if you’re ever available for a podcast I’d love you to come.” Thankfully, he finally responded, saying: “Mate, sorry I didn’t reply. I’ll definitely do the podcast with you, thank you for signing.”
That Deadpool episode is going to be a great watch… You can see him talking about the surprise transfer in full on his YouTube channel down below:
The GIANT £375 chocolate Easter egg that’s ‘too beautiful to eat’
One of the north’s most legendary hospitality businesses has created an Imperial Easter Egg, and the effort that goes into crafting it is wild.
Coming in at 10kg, 22 inches tall, and £375, Bettys enormous chocolate treat shows off a whole lot of artistry.
The iconic tearoom, which has sites across Yorkshire, has shared the behind-the-scenes video to its TikTok page, drumming up almost half a million views.
The mouth-watering video shows first milk chocolate being hand-painted onto a chocolate egg-shaped mould to create the Easter egg’s beautiful textured appearance, The Hoot reports.
Then layer after layer of melted chocolate is poured in from a chocolate tap, before being trimmed and tidied.
Bettys, which has tearooms across Harrogate, York, and Leeds, uses the finest Swiss Grand Cru chocolate for its imperial Easter egg, and every bit that’s trimmed away is melted down to reuse elsewhere.
Then a pastry chef at the tearoom will spend up to an hour PER EGG piping on the ornate decorations, carefully piping on coloured white chocolate stems and ferns.
Then colourful royal icing flowers are placed on its surface, each one again hand-piped by their cake decorators.
The end result is a whopping Spring-time masterpiece covered in shades of green, yellow and purple.
Bettys Imperial Easter Egg weighs in at a massive 10kg and stands at 22 inches tall.
Bettys says: “Celebrating the creativity and craft that makes Bettys unique, our handmade Imperial Easter eggs continue a tradition stretching back more than a century, when our founder Frederick Belmont designed eggs which were ornately embellished with hand-piped icing designs.
“Containing over five kilos of Grand Cru Swiss chocolate made from prized Venezuelan criollo cocoa beans, the Imperial Egg is a true work of art, showcasing the highest skills of our chocolatiers and cake decorators.
“Each Imperial Egg carries an array of delicate, individually crafted spring blooms and foliage including primroses, narcissi and pansies, with hand-piped stems as a final perfect touch.
“Our Imperial Easter Egg is made to order and is only available for collection from one of our Yorkshire shops.”