Mendy ‘a good and funny boy’ Man City’s Pep Guardiola tells rape trial

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The Manchester City manager, via a video-link from abroad to Chester Crown Court, was called as a character witness.

Guardiola, 51, revealed to the jury: “He asked me to come to be here with you and that is why I am here.

“As a club and as a manager, we have a lot of big expectations. We believe in our players. He’s an exceptional player.”

The Spaniard was asked by Mendy’s barrister Eleanor Laws KC if the player had “difficulties professionally” after being hit by injuries.

Guardiola said: “I’m pretty sure. The injuries can do that. It’s always pretty difficult.”

He added: “He is a really good boy, always generous.

“I think he was happy when we were together in the locker room. Everyone is asking him a favour and he would be able to do it.

“I think he is a generous boy. He adapted very quickly to the team and I would say he was happy helping others.

“When you asked him to do something for his mates or for the club, he would be able to do it.

“He is a funny boy and I would say on the training pitch or in the locker room are the places where he was happiest most – I would say that more than on the pitch, making rumours and making people have fun.

“He was easy to deal with. I do not think there is a person in the locker room who would speak badly of him. I control my players when we are in training. In their private life, I don’t know what they do. I am not his father.”

Guardiola said he was told Mendy had broken Covid-19 lockdown rules by holding parties at his £4.7million home in Prestbury, Cheshire.

He added: “I realised it happened. I don’t remember, through the media or somebody at the club advised me.

“Of course, I’m not happy. We talk about that and he accepted that he didn’t do the right thing.”

Frenchman Mendy, 28, denies seven rapes, an attempted rape and a sexual assault.

His co-accused Louis Saha Matturie, 41, of Eccles in Greater Manchester, denies six rapes and three sexual assaults. He will not be calling evidence in his defence.

The trial continues.

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