Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, made appearance during Benjamin Mendy’s rape trial and gave the jury a glowing character reference, calling the footballer a “very good boy.”
The 51-year-old manager spoke in court via videolink from abroad and described the defendant’s character to the jury by saying: “He’s a really good boy, I would say so generous.”
The 28-year-old defendant, Mr. Mendy, denies seven counts of rape against four women as well as one count each of attempted rape and sexual assault. The alleged crimes, which included six women, are said to have occurred at his Cheshire estate between October 2018 and August 2017.
On Monday afternoon, Mr. Pep Guardiola appeared in court via video link as his trial at Chester Crown Court resumed. He was dressed in a grey t-shirt.
Following his oath of office, Mr. Guardiola was questioned about his character by Mr. Mendy’s attorney Eleanor Laws KC.
He stated to the jury: “I think he is happy and I remember that when we were together and everybody asks for some favours and he was able to do it.”
As people were taking notes of Mr. Guardiola’s remarks in court, he was advised to calm down. A witness stated: “He’s a very generous boy. I think he very quickly adapted to the team and I would say he was very happy he could help the other ones.”
When someone asked Mr. Mendy for something, “he was always able to accomplish it,” according to Mr. Guardiola. Mr. Mendy, according to Mr. Guardiola, was a “funny lad,” and his “heart” was always happier in the locker room than on the field.
According to the city manager, Mr. Mendy enjoyed “making stories, having fun, and making the people have fun.” According to Mr. Guardiola, Mr. Mendy was a popular player on the team “definitely from day one.”
Ms. Laws said Mr. Mendy was “happy and fun” and helped foster a sense of teamwork. Pep Guardiola responded: “It’s difficult to find a person in the locker room who speaks badly about Mendy.”
The witness was told by the KC that Mr. Mendy “enjoyed his life.” Guardiola remarked: “I can say I can’t see players. I control my players when we are together in training sessions. In their private life, I don’t know what they do. I don’t follow the players on social media so I don’t know what they are doing outside my control in training sessions and in games.”
He acknowledged that he “had no idea” what Mr. Mendy did off the field and said, “I’m not his father.” Mr Guardiola said he was in charge of 20 or 22 players and that he would ‘notice immediately’ if there was a problem in training sessions. “That’s what I’m taking care of and that’s where I pay attention.”
Mr. Guardiola stated that he “expected the best” from Mr. Mendy but continued “sometimes he delivered to us and sometimes he didn’t deliver”.
When asked if dealing with Mr. Mendy was simple, Mr. Guardiola responded: “Yes, so easy.” Mr Guardiola was asked whether he had supported Mr Mendy after he became aware that at the beginning of 2020 the player had broken lockdown rules.”
A witness stated: “I realised it happened. I don’t remember (whether it was) through the media or somebody at the club advised me about that. Of course, I’m not happy. We talk about that and he accept he didn’t do the right thing.”
The KC informed the witness that despite the “severe sexual offenses” allegedly committed by Mr. Mendy, he was “prepared to come” to court. Judge Steven Everett, Chester’s honorary recorder, was addressed by Mr. Guardiola, saying: “He asked me, Mendy, to come here today with all of you, your honour and that’s why I’m here.”
The judge praised the witness for appearing and requested that Mr. Guardiola refrain from discussing the subject while the trial is still ongoing. After saying, “Thank you so much, your honor,” Mr. Guardiola concluded his testimony.
Earlier, before he presented his testimony, Mr. Pep Guardiola took an oath to be truthful.
When he was asked about his occupation, he replied that he was the manager of Manchester City.
According to the witness, this is his seventh season with the team. Mr. Guardiola acknowledged that he had appeared in court to provide character testimony. He claimed that Mr. Mendy was one of his 2017–18 signings.
What Next For Benjamin Mendy?
The jury was informed that Mr. Mendy’s testimony was over and that his co-accused would not be calling any witnesses in support of his defense.
Louis Saha Matturie, 41, of Eccles, Salford, a co-accused of Mr. Mendy and his alleged “fixer,” denies six counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault against seven women. Ten witnesses, including Mr. Boixasa, Mr. Mendy’s agent, three past lovers, his cleaner, a neighbor, and three of his siblings, testified in front of the jury on Thursday.