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Guillem Balague

Guillem Balague has been a key fixture in Sky Sports' coverage of Spanish football for 20 years, appearing weekly on Revista de La Liga, as well as regular pundit at the weekend. In the summer of 2018 he moved to BBC Sport where he is presenting a weekly Radio5Live show on European football plus writes a blog and creates content for the broadcaster. He is also the UK Correspondent for AS, the Madrid-based Spanish sports newspaper and a regular contributor to El Partidazo (COPE), the biggest football radio show in Spain.

He wrote the bestselling "A Season on the Brink", an insider's account of Liverpool's 2004-05 Champions' League winning campaign, updated later with the 2006 FA Cup victory. In November 2012, he published the first international biography of Pep Guardiola, based on conversations with him, his former players and Pep's closest friends. It was shortlisted for Football Book of the Year both in the United Kingdom and Germany. The updated version, covering Pep's period at Bayern Munich and his subsequent move to Manchester City is due for publication in early October.

In 2013, he wrote the first authorised account of the life of Leo Messi, full of insight and conversations with coaches, players, teachers and his family. The four years of his time with Pep Guardiola were analysed by Pep himself exclusively. The book, ‘Messi’ was shortlisted for the Football Book Award in the UK in 2014.

As well as two football diaries (of the 2012 European Championships and the 2014 World Cup), he published the Official History of FC Barcelona in the autumn of 2014. In November 2015, he published 'Cristiano Ronaldo, the Biography’ which won the Football Book of the Year Award at the British Sports Book Awards and the Best Football Book of 2016 in Poland.

His latest book on Mauricio Pochettino "Brave New World - Inside Pochettino's Spurs" was published in Autumn of 2017 and was shortlisted for the Football Book of the Year.

He has written or worked for The Telegraph, Marca, The Times, The Observer, Talk Sport, BBC, Cadena Ser, 442, World Soccer, Champions magazine, and many other publications in Spain, Britain and worldwide.

Guillem has most recently interviewed the following personalities: José Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Pep Guardiola, Alex Ferguson, Carles Puyol, Gareth Bale, Eddie Howe, Juan Mata, Héctor Bellerín, Mikel Arteta, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Rafa Benítez, Samuel Etoo, David Villa, David Beckham, Raul, Xavi, Iniesta, Van Nistelrooy, Robben, Frank Lampard, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, Kenny Dalglish, Fernando Torres, Mikel Arteta, Frank Rijkaard, Gianluca Vialli, David Moyes, Xabi Alonso, Harry Redknapp, Mark Hughes, Gareth Southgate, Gary Neville, Roy Hodgson, plus a host of other influential figures in the game.

He completed his journalism course at the Universitat Autònoma de Bellaterra (Barcelona) in the summer of 1991. Thereafter, he moved to Liverpool where he worked as a correspondent on the oldest newspaper in Europe, Diari de Barcelona, and the magazines Lecturas and Cambio 16.

In 1996, he was named English Football Correspondent for the Soccer magazine Don Balón. And in 1997, he was contracted by Sky Sports to become the regular insider for the new highlight show which eventually became Revista de la Liga.

In the popular Spanish football show he has broken some of the biggest news of recent years: the arrival of David Beckham to Real Madrid and their signing of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, the departure of Fernando Torres from Liverpool to Chelsea, the departure of Cesc Fábregas from Arsenal to Barcelona, and many more.

In the summer of 2013, he became a B licensed coach and he is working towards the A licence. Guillem was approached by Antonio Tapia, Spanish coach, to become part of his technical staff that Tapia was putting together for possible work in Scotland.

He is the Director of Football of Biggleswade United, a role that fills him with joy like no other.

He has written songs with two bands, Best Boy Grip and King and Scholes. Both EPs were published in the summer of 2014.

In the coming season, Guillem will be broadcasting on BBC Radio 5 Live and will also be broadcasting for LaLiga TV from Barcelona. He will also be giving a series of Master Classes in journalism at UCFB in Wembley and at their campus at the Ethiad stadium in Manchester.

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