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Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

Josep"Pep"Guardiola Sala (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒuˈzɛb ɡwəɾðiˈɔlə]; born 18 January 1971) is a Spanish professional football manager and former player, who is the current manager of Premier League club Manchester City. He is considered to be one of the greatest managers of all time.[14][15] He holds the record for the most consecutive league wins in La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League.[11]

Guardiola was a creative and technically gifted defensive midfielder who usually played in a deep-lying playmaker's role. He spent the majority of his career with Barcelona, forming a part of Johan Cruyff's Dream Team that won the club's first European Cup in 1992, and four successive Spanish league titles from 1991 to 1994. He later captained the team from 1997 until his departure from the club in 2001. After leaving Barcelona, Guardiola had stints with Brescia and Roma in Italy, Al-Ahli in Qatar, and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico. He was capped 47 times for the Spanish national team and appeared at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, as well as at UEFA Euro 2000. He also played friendly matches for Catalonia.

After retiring as a player, Guardiola briefly coached Barcelona B, with whom he won a Tercera División title, and assumed control of the first-team in 2008. In his first season as the first team manager, he guided Barcelona to the treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League. In doing so, Guardiola became the youngest manager to win the aforementioned European competition. The following campaign, he led Barcelona to four trophies, including winning his second Spanish league title as manager. In 2011, after leading the club to another La Liga and Champions League double, Guardiola was awarded the Catalan Parliament's Gold Medal, their highest honour.[17] The same year, he was also named the FIFA World Coach of the Year. In Guardiola's final season at Barcelona, he again won four trophies, before departing in 2012. He ended his four-year Barcelona stint with 14 honours, a club record.

After a sabbatical period, Bayern Munich announced Guardiola would join the club as manager in 2013. In his first season at the club, he won four trophies, including the double of Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal. Guardiola won seven trophies during his three-year tenure in Germany; winning the Bundesliga every season he was there, as well as two domestic doubles. He left the Bavarians for Manchester City in 2016, and guided them to a Premier League title in his second campaign in charge, breaking numerous domestic records as the team became the first to attain 100 league points. He won a second consecutive Premier League and EFL Cup the following season, as well as the FA Cup, to capture an unprecedented domestic treble in English men's football.

Pep Guardiola
Personal information
Full nameJosep Guardiola Sala[12]
Date of birth(1971-01-18)18 January 1971
Place of birthSantpedor, Spain
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[13]
Playing positionDefensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Manchester City (manager)
Youth career
Senior career*
1988–1989Barcelona C8(1)
1990–1992Barcelona B53(5)
National team
1991Spain U212(0)
1991–1992Spain U2312(2)
Teams managed
2007–2008Barcelona B
2013–2016Bayern Munich
2016–Manchester City
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club career


Guardiola (right) with Barcelona in 1992.

Guardiola (right) with Barcelona in 1992.

Born in Santpedor, Barcelona, Catalonia, Guardiola joined La Masia at age 13 and rose through the ranks of Barcelona's youth academy for six years, making his début in 1990 against Cádiz. As Phil Ball writes in Morbo,

In his first week at the club, Johan Cruyff turned up unannounced at the Mini Estadi, a venue just down the road from Camp Nou used by Barcelona B. Just before half-time he wandered into the dug-out and asked Charly Rexach, the youth team manager at the time, the name of the young lad playing on the right side of midfield. "Guardiola – good lad," came the reply. Cruyff ignored the comment and told Rexach to move him into the middle for the second half, to play as pivot. It was a difficult position to adapt to and one not used by many teams in Spain at the time. Guardiola adjusted immediately, as Cruyff had suspected he would, and when he moved to the first-team in 1990, he became the pivot of the Dream Team.[18]

Cruyff utilised the young midfielder in the absence of the suspended Guillermo Amor. He became a first-team regular in the 1991–92 season, and at only 20 years old was a key component of a side that won La Liga and the European Cup. The prestigious Italian magazine Guerin Sportivo heralded Guardiola as the finest player in the world under the age of 21. Cruyff's "Dream Team" went on to retain La Liga title in the 1992–93 and 1993–94 seasons. The side was strengthened by the recent signing of Romário, again reached the 1994 UEFA Champions League Final, but were beaten 4–0 by Fabio Capello's Milan side in Athens. Cruyff left in 1996, with Barcelona finishing fourth in the 1994–95 season and third in the 1995–96 season, but Guardiola retained his position at the centre of Barça's midfield.

In the 1996–97 season, Barcelona, this time led by Bobby Robson, won three cups: the Copa del Rey, the Supercopa de España, and the European Cup Winners' Cup. Much of the Dream Team had by this time left, with new signings such as Luís Figo and Ronaldo taking over from Hristo Stoichkov and Michael Laudrup. In 1997, Guardiola was named as Barcelona captain under new manager Louis van Gaal, but a calf muscle injury ruled Guardiola out of most of the 1997–98 season, in which Barcelona won a league and cup double. At the end of the season, Barcelona rejected offers from Roma and Parma (of around 300 million pesetas) for Guardiola. After prolonged and complicated contract talks, he signed a new contract with the Catalan club that extended his stay until 2001.

Guardiola returned to action the following season and Barcelona once again won La Liga, thanks largely to the performances of Rivaldo and Luís Figo. On 8 June 1998, Guardiola underwent surgery to try to resolve his lingering calf injury, which had caused him to miss the 1998 FIFA World Cup for Spain. A largely disappointing 1999–2000 season again ended in surgery, with Guardiola missing the last three months of the season with a serious ankle injury. Barcelona didn't win any silverware during the 2000–01 season and finished fourth place in the league; nonetheless, they qualified for the Champions League.

On 11 April 2001, Barcelona's captain announced his intention to leave the club after 17 years of service. He stated that it was a personal decision and, in part, a response to what he perceived as football heading in a new, more physical, direction. On 24 June 2001, Guardiola played his last match with Barça in the final game of the season against Celta de Vigo.[19] Guardiola played 479 games in 12 seasons for the first team, winning 16 trophies. At the press conference after the Celta game, he said, "It's been a long journey. I'm happy, proud, happy with the way people treated me and I have made many friends. I cannot ask for more. I have had many years in the elite. I did not come to make history but to make my own history." A number of future Barcelona midfielders, including Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Cesc Fàbregas, have hailed Guardiola as their role model and hero.[20]

Brescia and Roma

After leaving Barcelona in 2001 at age 30, Guardiola joined Serie A side Brescia as Andrea Pirlo's replacement in the deep-lying playmaking role, where he played alongside Roberto Baggio under manager Carlo Mazzone.[21] Following his stint at Brescia, Guardiola transferred to Roma. His time in Italy, however, was unsuccessful and included a four-month ban for testing positive for nandrolone. Six years later, on 23 October 2007, Guardiola was cleared on appeal of all charges related to the ban.[22] CONI, however, reopened the case against the player because it considered the absolution unacceptable,[23] but he was cleared once again on 29 September 2009.[24] He played a number of Coppa Italia games and Champions League games, finishing with 71 games in Italy.


After his career with Brescia and Roma, in 2003, Guardiola chose to play in Qatar with Al-Ahli from Doha in the Qatar Stars League, where many fellow greats were playing, such as Gabriel Batistuta. He had rejected another offer from Manchester United, as he wanted to play elsewhere. He became a regular in the Qatar Stars League, often cited as one of the best players in the League. He also participated in the 2004–05 Arab Champions League with the club, and in the first leg of the competition's first round, Guardiola missed a penalty in the 19th minute, hitting the crossbar, but then converted his second penalty of the game in the 73rd minute.[25][26] In 2005–06, he turned down offers from a number European sides, such as Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea, as he felt his playing career was coming to a close.[27]

Dorados de Sinaloa

In 2006, Juan Manuel Lillo was appointed the manager of Mexican club Dorados de Sinaloa. Lillo recruited Guardiola to play for the club while he was in managing school in Axocopán, Atlixco, Puebla. Guardiola played with Dorados de Sinaloa for six months, but was limited to ten appearances due to injuries before retiring. He scored one goal for the club.[28]

International career


Guardiola made his senior debut on 14 October 1992 in a 0–0 draw with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in a World Cup qualifier. In the same year, Guardiola captained Spain when they won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games. It was in this year when he won the Bravo Award, which recognizes the world's best player under the age of 21. Between 1992 and 2001, Guardiola played over 47 times and scored five goals for the senior Spain team. He was a member of the Spanish team during the 1994 World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals, losing 2–1 to Italy. He fell out of favour with Javier Clemente, Spain's manager, due to disagreements and missed out on Euro 1996. He suffered a career-threatening injury in 1998, which kept him out of the 1998 World Cup, but he later played at Euro 2000, where he led Spain to yet another quarter-final, this time losing to France by the same margin, 2–1. He led the Spanish midfield until his final appearance for la Roja, a 1–0 win in a friendly against Mexico on 14 November 2001; he scored his last international goal against Sweden in a 1–1 draw during his 45th appearance.[12][29]


Guardiola has played for and advocated on behalf of the Catalonia football team. Between 1995 and 2005, he played seven friendly games for Catalonia.[30]

Style of play

Considered one of the best midfielders of his generation by Johan Cruyff,[31] Guardiola was a highly creative, hard-working, nimble, and elegant player, with good anticipation, tactical awareness, and an ability to read the game; throughout his career, he was deployed as a central or defensive midfielder in front of his team's back-line.[32][33][34] Although he was competent defensively and able to press opponents to break up play and win the ball,[35][36] due to his slender build he usually functioned as a deep-lying playmaker, where he excelled courtesy of his technical ability and intelligent, efficient, precise passing game.[33][37][38] Despite his lack of notable pace or physical attributes, Guardiola was highly regarded throughout his career for his vision, close control, passing range, positional sense, and calm composure on the ball,[39] which enabled him to retain possession and either set the tempo of his team's play in midfield with intricate short exchanges,[40] or switch the play or create chances with longer passes.[41][42][43]

Guardiola was capable of being an offensive threat, due to his ability to make attacking runs[44] or strike accurately from distance; he was also effective at creating chances or shooting on goal from set-pieces. Having served as captain of both Barcelona and the Spanish national side, he also stood out for his leadership throughout his career.[45][46] Guardiola's playing style, which relied on creativity, technique and ball movement, rather than physicality and pace, inspired several future diminutive Spanish playmaking midfielders, such as Xavi,[47] Andrés Iniesta,[48] and Cesc Fàbregas.[49]

Managerial career


B team

Guardiola coaching Barcelona B

Guardiola coaching Barcelona B

Guardiola was appointed coach of Barcelona B on 21 June 2007 with Tito Vilanova as his assistant. Under his guidance, the team subsequently won their Tercera División group and qualified for the 2008 Segunda División B playoffs, which the team won, thereby achieving promotion.[50] FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta announced in May 2008 that Guardiola would be appointed manager of the senior Barcelona squad to replace Frank Rijkaard at the end of the 2007–08 season.[51] According to a 2013 biography of Michael Laudrup, he and not Guardiola was Laporta's first choice.[52]

First team

2008–09 season

Pep Guardiola managing Barcelona.

Pep Guardiola managing Barcelona.

Upon being appointed, Guardiola said that Ronaldinho, Deco, Samuel Eto'o and others were not part of his plans for the coming season. By the time of the announcement, he had already offloaded full back Gianluca Zambrotta to Milan, attacking midfielder Giovani dos Santos to Tottenham Hotspur and midfielder Edmílson to Villarreal.[53] Deco went to Chelsea while Ronaldinho joined Zambrotta in Milan. Lilian Thuram was initially set to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer, but the discovery of a heart condition put a stop to the move, and the veteran retired to tend to his health. Oleguer signed with Ajax, Santiago Ezquerro was released by Barça and Marc Crosas was sold to Celtic. The fate of Eto'o took much of the summer to unravel, with the Cameroonian linked with several clubs, but Guardiola finally declared that he would stay after his dedication in training and participation in the pre-season.

In association with Barcelona Director of Sport Txiki Begiristain, several new signings were made by Guardiola – Dani Alves and Seydou Keita arrived from Sevilla; Martín Cáceres from Villarreal by way of Recreativo de Huelva; Gerard Piqué returned from Manchester United; and Alexander Hleb was signed from Arsenal. Henrique was also signed from Palmeiras, but was immediately loaned out to Bayer Leverkusen.[54] In interviews with the press, Guardiola stressed a harder work ethic than before, but also a more personal approach during training and a closer relationship with his players. Along with the new signings, Guardiola promoted canteranos Sergio Busquets, Pedro and Jeffrén to the first-team squad.

Guardiola's first competitive game as coach was in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, in which Barça comfortably beat Polish club Wisła Kraków 4–0 in the first leg at home. They then lost 1–0 in the second leg, but progressed with a 4–1 aggregate victory. Promoted Numancia also defeated Barcelona in the opening match-day of the La Liga, but the team then went on an undefeated streak for over 20 matches to move to the top of the league. Barça maintained their spot atop La Liga's table, securing their first league title since 2006 when rivals Real Madrid lost at Villarreal on 16 May 2009. The most important match, however, was on 2 May when they defeated Real Madrid 6–2 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The league title was the second piece of silverware in Guardiola's first season at the Camp Nou. Earlier on 13 May 2009, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, defeating Athletic Bilbao by 4–1.

In the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea, a late Andrés Iniesta goal in the second leg at Stamford Bridge put Barcelona through, with an ecstatic Guardiola celebrating the goal by sprinting down the touchline near to where his players were celebrating.[55] In the final of the Champions League, Barcelona beat Manchester United 2–0. In doing so, they became the first Spanish club to win the domestic cup, the league, and the European club titles (the treble) in the same season. The treble-winning season is regarded as one of the club's finest in its history.[56] Furthermore, he became the youngest man to coach a Champions League winning team.[57]

2009–10 season

Pep Guardiola in 2010.

Pep Guardiola in 2010.

During Guardiola's second season as manager, Barcelona swapped Samuel Eto'o and €46 million in exchange for Zlatan Ibrahimović of Internazionale. Many players left the club in the same transfer window – Eiður Guðjohnsen was sold to Monaco; Sylvinho and Albert Jorquera's contracts ended; and other players were loaned out, including Alexander Hleb to VfB Stuttgart, Martín Cáceres to Juventus, Alberto Botía to Sporting de Gijón, and Víctor Sánchez to Xerez. Barcelona started the season defeating Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa de España and Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Super Cup. On 25 September 2009, Barcelona gave Guardiola his 50th professional victory, away against Málaga and on 19 December, they were crowned FIFA Club World Cup champions for the first time in their history.

Guardiola finished the calendar year 2009 with a record six trophies, the Spanish League, Copa del Rey, Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup and Club World Cup, becoming the first manager in history to do so. In January 2010, Guardiola became Barcelona's longest serving Spanish coach, overtaking the record previously held by Josep Samitier. That same month, on the 20th, he agreed to a one-year contract extension to keep him with Barcelona until the end of the 2010–11 season.[58]

In February 2010, Guardiola coached his 100th match for Barcelona's first team. His record stood at 71 wins, 19 draws and 10 losses with 242 goals for and 76 against.[59] On 10 April 2010, he became the first manager in Barcelona's history to beat Real Madrid four times in a row in El Clásico. Barcelona reached the semi-finals of the 2009–10 Champions League, but lost 3–2 on aggregate to José Mourinho's Internazionale.[60] Despite this, they managed to win their 20th La Liga title with 99 points by beating Real Valladolid 4–0 at home.[61] At the time, this was the highest points total ever gained amongst any of Europe's major leagues.[62] The La Liga title was Guardiola's seventh trophy as manager of the club, tying Ferdinand Daučík for second behind Johan Cruyff and his 11 trophies.

On 8 June 2010, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) fined Guardiola €15,000 following a formal inquiry opened by the Competition Committee regarding his actions and comments during and after a match against Almería on 6 March 2010.[63] Guardiola approached the fourth official with, according to the official report, malicious intent, berating the official and speaking into his microphone with phrases such as, "You are calling everything wrong." Following the match, Guardiola accused Carlos Clos Gómez and his assistant José Luis Gallego Galdino of "lying" in their match report. Barcelona were given ten days to appeal the sanction. TV replays supported Guardiola's assertions. The game ended 2–2.

2010–11 season

Guardiola's third season in charge saw the departure of two players who had arrived last season: Dmytro Chygrynskiy returned to Shakhtar Donetsk and Zlatan Ibrahimović joined Milan on loan. Rafael Márquez and Thierry Henry were released from their contracts and both moved to New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS); Yaya Touré also left the team and moved to English Premier League side Manchester City. The club signed Adriano from Sevilla, David Villa from Valencia and Javier Mascherano from Liverpool. On 14 July 2010, Guardiola signed a new contract to stay with Barcelona until June 2011.[64]

On 21 August, Barcelona beat Sevilla 5–3 on aggregate to win the 2010 Supercopa de España, his second in a row. On 29 November 2010, Barcelona beat Real Madrid 5–0, giving Guardiola five straight wins in El Clásico. On 8 February 2011, Guardiola accepted the club's offer for a one-year deal extension, signing a contract until June 2012.[65] On 16 February, in the first leg Champions League first knockout round, Barcelona were defeated by Arsenal 2–1 at Emirates Stadium. The defeat prolonged Guardiola's record of never having won the away leg of a Champions League knockout tie. On 8 March, in the second leg of the Champions League first knockout round, Barcelona defeated Arsenal 3–1, thus winning 4–3 on aggregate, moving them into the quarter-finals.

Early April saw Barcelona move eight points clear of second-placed Real Madrid in their domestic league after a key away win against Villarreal, making the most of Real Madrid's home loss against Sporting de Gijón earlier on the same day. Barcelona managed to advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the fourth year – last three under Guardiola – in a row after thrashing Shakhtar Donetsk 6–1 on aggregate.

Barcelona continued their La Liga crusade for the second El Clásico in the Santiago Bernabéu, which ended 1–1. Lionel Messi scored for his team from the penalty spot after Raúl Albiol was sent off. Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo later replied from the penalty spot in the 80th minute of the match. Guardiola suffered his first final defeat during the Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal in the 103rd minute of the match during extra time, giving the club its first title since 2008, as well as José Mourinho's first title for his new club. In the Champions League, however, Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2–0 at the Bernabéu in the semi-final first leg, and after a 1–1 draw at Camp Nou, they proceeded to Guardiola's second Champions League final in three years as coach for Barcelona.[66]

On 11 May 2011, Barcelona won the La Liga title and the club's third in a row after a 1–1 draw with Levante.[67][68] On 28 May, Barcelona beat Manchester United 3–1 at Wembley Stadium to win the Champions League.[69]

2011–12 season

Guardiola's fourth season in charge started with the departure of three long-serving Barça players: Gabriel Milito moved back to old Argentine club Independiente, Jeffrén was sold to Sporting CP and Bojan was sold to Roma. Two high-profile signings were made: Alexis Sánchez came from Udinese for €26 million plus bonuses, and Cesc Fàbregas, a former La Masia graduate, returned from Arsenal for €29 million plus bonuses. To complete the squad, two players were promoted from the youth system: Thiago and Andreu Fontàs. The season started with a 5–4 aggregate win over Real Madrid for the Supercopa de España.[70]

Barcelona won their second trophy of the season on 26 August, beating Porto in the UEFA Super Cup final 2–0.[71] With the trophy won against Porto, he became all-time record holder of most titles won as a coach at Barcelona. He won 12 trophies in only three years.[72] November of the same year saw Guardiola coach his 200th match for Barça's first team. His record stood at 144 wins, 39 draws and 17 losses with 500 goals for and 143 against.[73]

Barcelona ended the 2011 calendar year winning the Club World Cup, beating Brazilian club Santos 4–0, the widest margin in an Intercontinental Cup/Club World Cup final since changing to a single match format. This was Guardiola's 13th title of only 16 tournaments played.[74] On 9 January 2012, he was named FIFA World Coach of the Year. On his 41st birthday, he led his side to a 2–1 victory over arch-rivals Real Madrid in El Clásico, ensuring that he remained unbeaten against Real Madrid in regular time as a manager. On 21 April, Guardiola conceded the league title to leaders Real Madrid after they beat Barcelona 2–1 and extended their lead in the table to seven points with four matches remaining. "We have to congratulate Madrid for their win and the title that they have also won tonight," said Guardiola, after what was his side's first loss at home all season.[75]

On 24 April, a 2–2 draw at home against Chelsea in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal knocked Barcelona out of the competition on a 2–3 aggregate score. That effectively left the team with only the Copa del Rey to play for.[76] Guardiola had faced criticism over his recent tactics and squad selections.[77] On 27 April 2012, he announced he would step down as Barcelona's coach at the end of the 2011–12 season. He had been on a rolling contract that was renewed annually during his tenure as manager. Citing tiredness as the main reason for his decision, he also commented that four years at a club like Barça felt like an eternity.[78]

Guardiola continued to lead Barcelona to wins in the remaining La Liga games of the season, followed by a 3–0 win in the Copa del Rey final. His record of 14 trophies in four seasons has made him the most successful coach in Barcelona's history. Barcelona announced that he would be succeeded by Tito Vilanova, who would begin leading the first team at the start of the 2012–13 season.[79]


After his time at Barcelona came to an end, Guardiola took a year's sabbatical in New York City.[80] On 7 January 2013, he came in third place for the 2012 FIFA World Coach of the Year, behind the winner Vicente del Bosque and runner-up José Mourinho.[81] While at a news conference at the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or gala in Zürich, Guardiola said, "I have taken a decision to return to coaching but beyond that no decision has been taken. I don't have a team to go to but I would like to go back to coaching."[82]

Bayern Munich

2013–14 season

Pep Guardiola managing Bayern Munich

Pep Guardiola managing Bayern Munich

On 16 January 2013, it was announced that Guardiola would take over as manager of Bundesliga club Bayern Munich after the 2012–13 season, replacing Jupp Heynckes for the following season.[83][84] He addressed his first press conference as Bayern manager, on 24 June 2013, in "impressive German",[85] and had his first training session two days later.[86] His first official match was the German Super Cup against Borussia Dortmund, with Bayern losing 4–2.[87] His first trophy with Bayern was the 2013 UEFA Super Cup, defeating longtime adversary José Mourinho, who had just returned to coach at Chelsea. Bayern beat ten-man Chelsea in a shoot-out after Manuel Neuer saved Romelu Lukaku's kick.[88]

In December 2013, Guardiola won his third Club World Cup after beating Raja Casablanca in Morocco.[89] On 25 March 2014, he led Bayern to their 23rd Bundesliga title by beating Hertha BSC 3–1 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. With seven matches remaining in the season, it was the earliest the championship had been won in Bundesliga history, breaking the record Heynckes' Bayern had set in the previous season.[90] Guardiola broke Karl-Heinz Feldkamp's record for the longest winning streak to start his tenure at a Bundesliga club.[91] Feldkamp was undefeated in his first 14 matches with 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the 1978–79 season.[91] The streak ended at 28 when FC Augsburg defeated Bayern 1–0[92] on matchday 29.[93] The streak also ended Bayern's 53–match undefeated streak.[92]

Bayern were drawn against Real Madrid in the semi–finals of Champions League.[94] Bayern lost the first leg 1–0[95] and the second leg 4–0.[96] After the first leg, Guardiola was criticized for his tactics.[97] However, he defended his tactics.[98] Also in the first leg, Guardiola lost his first match at the Santiago Bernabéu.[99] He was undefeated in his first seven matches in the stadium.[99] Guardiola took the blame for the loss.[100] Philipp Lahm, however, said: "it was a collective failure and not the fault of coach Guardiola."[100] kicker Sportmagazin "singled out" Guardiola as "the key to the crisis."[101] He finished the 2013–14 season by winning the DFB-Pokal 2–0 in extra–time.[102]

2014–15 season

Pep Guardiola in 2014

Pep Guardiola in 2014

Pre–season started on 9 July 2014[103] with the first friendly match on 18 July 2014.[104] Mario Mandžukić was sold to Atlético Madrid[105] because he believed that the "playing style of coach Pep Guardiola simply does not fit him."[106] On 6 August 2014, Bayern played in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game in Portland, Oregon.[107] The all-star team was led by Timbers Coach Caleb Porter.[108] The match ended with Bayern losing 2–1 to the All-Star squad.[107] Separate incidents involving "harsh challenges"[108] by Osvaldo Alonso[109] and Will Johnson[109] visibly enraged Guardiola and after the match he refused to shake Porter's hand.[108] One of the tackles injured Bastian Schweinsteiger.[109]

Bayern lost the German Super Cup 2–0 to Borussia Dortmund.[110] He had declared before the match that "every final is important, especially in Dortmund a bit more."[111] Guardiola used a 3–4–2–1 system in the match.[112] Guardiola handed 17-year-old Gianluca Gaudino his first team debut in the Super Cup and made him part of the first team permanently because of "strong preparation" during pre-season.[113] In a Champions League match, Bayern defeated Roma 7–1,[114] Bayern's biggest away win in their Champions League history.[115] Bayern's first league loss of the season came in a 4–1 defeat to VfL Wolfsburg.[116] On 11 March 2015, Bayern defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 7–0, tying their largest win in Champions League history.[117] Bayern defeated Bayer Leverkusen in a shoot–out in the quarter–finals of the DFB-Pokal.[118] On 15 April 2015, Bayern ended an 11-match undefeated streak after losing 3–1 to Porto in Portugal.[119] In Guardiola's 100th match as head coach, Bayern defeated Porto 6–1.[120] With the win, Bayern reached their fourth-straight Champions League semifinal.[120] On 28 April 2015, Bayern were knocked out of the German Cup in a shoot-out.[121][121] Bayern had missed all four of their shots.[121] In his first competitive match against Barcelona, Bayern lost 3–0.[122] Bayern failed to get a shot on target in the match.[123] For the first time in his career, he lost four in a row (including shoot-out loss).[124]

2015–16 season

Guardiola during a press conference in 2015

Guardiola during a press conference in 2015

Pre-season began on 1 July 2015.[125] In the Telekom Cup, Bayern finished fourth after losing to Augsburg in the semi-final[126] and losing to Borussia Mönchengladbach in a shootout.[127] Bayern lost the German Super Cup to VfL Wolfsburg on 1 August 2015,[128] then beat Real Madrid in the Audi Cup final four days later.[129] The competitive season started on 1 August 2015 when Bayern lost in a shoot-out to Wolfsburg in the German Super Cup.[130] Then on 9 August 2015, Bayern won in the first round of the German Cup.[131] In the league, Bayern won their first ten matches.[132] The first time they dropped points in the league was on 30 October 2015 in a 0–0 scoreline against Eintracht Frankfurt[132] and their first loss in the league was on 5 December 2015 in a 3–1 scoreline to Borussia Mönchengladbach.[133] In the Champions League group stage, Bayern won Group F,[134] winning five out of the six matches.[135] Bayern's only loss in the Champions League group stage was against Arsenal on 20 October.[136] This was Bayern's first loss in all competitions during the 2015–16 season.[137]

On 20 December, Bayern confirmed that Guardiola was leaving the club after his contract expires at the end of the season, with Carlo Ancelotti his replacement for the 2016–17 season.[138][139]

On 3 May 2016, Guardiola's Bayern Munich lost to Atlético Madrid in the Champions League semifinals stage, thereby ending his final chance of winning a Champions League title with the Bavarian club.[140] Guardiola's final match[141] was on 21 May 2016.[142] Bayern defeated Borussia Dortmund in a shootout.[141] He finished with a record of 82 wins, 11 draws, and nine losses in the Bundesliga; a record of 14 wins, three draws, and no losses in the DFB-Pokal; a record of 23 wins, five draws, and eight losses in the UEFA Champions League.[143] He also went a combined two wins, two draws, and two losses in the FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and the German Super Cup.[143] In non–official competitions, he went a combined six wins, one draw, and one loss.[143]

Manchester City

2016–17 season

"I realise how difficult it is. Definitely, we are not safe until the referee says 'Okay, go home.'" —Guardiola describes what he has learned from English football on 13 August 2016.[144]

On 1 February 2016, Manchester City signed Guardiola to a three-year contract for the start of the 2016–17 season.[145]

Manchester City lost Guardiola's first pre-season match 1–0 to Bayern Munich.[146] On 13 August 2016, Manchester City won his first 2016–17 Premier League season match 2–1 against Sunderland.[147] On 11 September 2016, Guardiola won his first Manchester derby as a manager in a 1–2 victory; this was also his sixth win against his "rival" manager José Mourinho.[148] By the end of September 2016, Guardiola had won all of his first 10 matches in charge of Manchester City and were top of the Premier League table with a four-point advantage over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur,[149] but lost his first match as City manager, 2–0 against Tottenham Hotspur but remained one point clear in the league table ahead of the international break.[150]

After the international break and a home draw on 23 October 2016, Guardiola tied his record of going five games without a win.[151] City's poor run continued into the EFL Cup with a 1–0 defeat to Manchester United. City's loss meant that he was without a win in his last six games in all competitions, his worst run of form in his managerial career.[152] Manchester City lost to Everton 4–0.[153] This was his biggest loss in domestic action.[153] Guardiola's City were eliminated in the last 16 of the Champions League by Monaco on away goals after a 6–6 aggregate draw. The second leg of the tie was his 100th game as a manager in European competition, and he arrived at that mark with the best record of any manager, 61 wins and 23 draws. This was one draw better than the previous record holder, his former manager at Barcelona, Louis van Gaal.[154]

Guardiola finished the season with no trophies – the only time he has finished a season without a trophy. He stated mid-season that the coaching role at City "might be his last team" as manager and stated not winning a trophy, of the four available to City, constituted a "failure".[155][156] However, he articulated his desire to improve the following season.[156]

2017–18 season

Guardiola identified the defensive areas which required improvement for City to challenge for the league title, particularly in the goalkeeper and full back position. He made three major acquisitions in the summer transfer window in goalkeeper Ederson Moraes and wing-backs of Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker, while dispensing of all the current senior full backs at the club in Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta. Additionally, he also signed Bernardo Silva from Monaco and Danilo from Real Madrid.

On 25 February, City beat Arsenal 0–3 to win the Carabao Cup, this was Guardiola's first trophy with City.[157] On 15 April, City were confirmed as Premier League champions following Manchester United's 0–1 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion.[158] After finishing the season with a record-breaking 100 points, Guardiola signed a new contract with City until 2021.[159][160]

2018–19 season

During Guardiola's third season as manager, City signed Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City for a fee of £60 million.[161] On 5 August, City began the season with a 0–2 victory over Chelsea and won the 2018 FA Community Shield.[162]

"To win the title we had to win 14 games in a row, this was the toughest title in all my career, by far." —Guardiola after winning the 2018–19 Premier League title on 12 May 2019.[163]

On 24 February 2019, his side faced Chelsea in the EFL Cup Final held at Wembley Stadium. The game ended 0–0 after extra-time, but Manchester City won 4–3 on penalties retaining the trophy for the second year in a row.[164][165] On 9 April, his side faced Tottenham Hotspur for the first leg of their Champions League quarter final, held at Tottenham's new stadium Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The game ended in a 1–0 defeat.[166] The second leg was held at the Etihad Stadium on 17 April, where Guardiola's side beat Tottenham 4–3. However, due to the Aggregate Score being a 4–4 tie, Tottenham went through to the semi-finals on away goals.[167] On 12 May, he won his second consecutive Premier league title after finishing on 98 points, one point above Liverpool, after his side beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1–4 away on the final day of the league.[168] On 18 May, his side beat Watford 6–0 in the finals of the FA Cup and became the first ever men's team in England to win a domestic treble.[169][170][171]

2019–20 season

Guardiola made two major acquisitions during the summer transfer window in defender João Cancelo from Juventus for £27.4m plus Danilo and midfielder Rodri from Atlético Madrid for a fee of £62.8M, a club record.[172] On 4 August, City began the season by beating Liverpool 4–5 on penalties after being 1–1 at the end of 90 minutes and won the 2019 FA Community Shield, during the match Guardiola also became the first manager to receive a yellow card from the referee.[173][174]


"I loathe all that passing for the sake of it, all that tiki-taka. It's so much rubbish and has no purpose. You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition's goal. It's not about passing for the sake of it. Don't believe what people say. Barça didn't do tiki-taka! It's completely made up! Don't believe a word of it! In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope. You overload on one side and draw them in so that they leave the other side weak." —Guardiola is commonly seen as a proponent of the tiki-taka style by football commentators but describes possession and quick passing of the ball as simply a means of overloading opponents and creating space for scoring opportunities.[175]

"I was really impressed by the way that he had looked at other sports to find ways to create space. Not only football but European handball, Aussie rules, rugby union, they are all trying to create space and find space. You can never learn enough about that." —Rugby Union coach Eddie Jones on how Guardiola observes other sports to influence his thinking, particularly in regards to creating space for scoring opportunities.[176]

Under Guardiola's predecessor Frank Rijkaard, Barcelona were known for a 4–3–3 with plenty of flair with Ronaldinho being the centre point of the attack. Under Guardiola, however, the team became more disciplined with a greater focus on possession and a disciplined and aggressive pressing style. The leader in defense and Guardiola's right arm was Rafael Márquez who created chances from the back with his long balls.[177] He often played a high defensive line with the full backs (particularly Dani Alves) pushing high up their respective sides while relying on the passing of Xavi and Andrés Iniesta to retain possession and employing a pressing style without the ball.[178] During striker Samuel Eto'o's time at Barcelona, Lionel Messi was deployed on the right hand side, though following his departure Messi largely played in the centre forward role in a false nine capacity.[179]

During the 2011–12 season, Guardiola made increasing use of the 3–4–3 system, especially when facing two attackers, using Cesc Fàbregas as an attacking midfielder and Sergio Busquets as a midfield pivot. Johan Cruyff previously had used this system as a basic tactical approach when Guardiola played for Barcelona. Guardiola employed this system in a 5–0 win against Villarreal with Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets and Eric Abidal as the back-three and Seydou Keita acting as a defensive midfield. Of note is that throughout their careers, Mascherano, Keita and Busquets had been deployed primarily as midfielders and Abidal as a full back, meaning Guardiola did not play even one central defender in the 5–0 victory. This he repeated four years later in Bayern Munich's 3–0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen, when he fielded a back three consisting of David Alaba, Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso.[180] Although there are some spectators who assume the primary reason for the 3–4–3 was because he was short on defenders, in a later Champions League match against Milan at the Camp Nou, he employed this tactic with most of his players available for selection. As manager of Bayern Munich, he also employed a 3–4–3 formation during the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against old club Barça.[181]

Although much emphasis is placed on retaining possession of the ball and dictating play, Guardiola's teams are recognised for pressing off the ball. Players press and harry the opposition collectively in an attempt to win back possession of the ball. This collective press is only conducted in the starting third of the opposition's pitch where less space exists and defenders and/or the goalkeeper may not be as good dribbling or passing the ball as a midfielder. At Barcelona, this was referred as the "six-second rule", in that the team should aim to win back possession of the ball within six seconds as this was the time when opposition players may still be out of position following turnover of possession and most susceptible to being dispossessed or forced into a mistake.[182] If possession of the ball was not won back within six seconds, players would abandon the collective press to conserve energy and revert to compact positions with men behind the ball to make it hard for the opposition to break them down.[183] The 'six-second rule' has largely been omitted after he left Barcelona. However, the principle of swiftly winning the ball back following a turnover of possession remains at Bayern Munich and Manchester City.[184] This pressing tactic has been likened to that of pressing proponent Jürgen Klopp, and influenced the tactical approach of managers such as Mauricio Pochettino[185] as well as those in other sports such as rugby.[186][176]

As high pressing has become a greater part of football, Guardiola evolved the idea of countering an opponent's pressing by ensuring his goalkeeper and defenders are comfortable on the ball and capable of retaining possession to counteract. At Manchester City, he evolved this idea one step further by utilising the fact players cannot be offside from a goal kick and ensured a goalkeeper with the necessary kicking force to kick the length of the pitch in signing Ederson. If opponents pressed City high in their back third from a goal kick, it was not uncommon that Manchester City strikers would run deep into the opponent's back third.[187][188] By doing this it forced opponents back to mark the strikers who could not be offside, thus creating large space in the middle of the pitch for the goalkeeper to chip the ball over the opposition's aggressive high press, at the same time this would often result in City creating a scoring opportunity.[189]

Personal life

Guardiola was born to Dolors and Valentí. He has two older sisters and a younger brother, Pere, a football agent.[190] He is non-religious.[191] Guardiola met his wife when he was 18.[191] They married on 29 May 2014.[192] They have three children named Maria, Màrius and Valentina.[191] Following his tenure as Barcelona's manager, he stated that he would move to the United States to live in Manhattan, New York, for a year, until he decided on his future.[193] To prepare for his position as the manager of Bayern Munich, Guardiola practised German for four to five hours per day, responding impressively at his first press conference there.[194] Guardiola supports the political independence of Catalonia.[195] In 2015, he confirmed that he would participate in the pro-independence coalition Junts pel Sí in that year's regional parliamentary election.[196]

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueNational Cup[1]ContinentalOtherTotal
Barcelona C1988–89[197]Segunda División B810081
Barcelona B1989–90[198]Segunda División B11000110
1990–91[199]Segunda División B3336[2]0393
1991–92[200]Segunda División9292
Barcelona1990–91[199]La Liga400040
1991–92[200]La Liga2600011[3]02[4]0390
1992–93[201]La Liga280315[5]03[6]0391
1993–94[202]La Liga340309[7]02[4]0480
1994–95[203]La Liga242206[7]02[4]0342
1995–96[204]La Liga321708[8]1472
1996–97[205]La Liga380607[9]12[4]0531
1997–98[206]La Liga60105[7]02[4]0140
1998–99[207]La Liga221301[7]000261
1999–2000[208]La Liga2502012[7]12[4]0411
2000–01[209]La Liga242617[8]0373
Brescia2001–02[210]Serie A11200112
Roma2002–03[211]Serie A40001[7]050
Brescia2002–03[211]Serie A13100131
Al-Ahli[212]2003–04[213]Qatar Stars League182?0??18+2
2004–05[213]Qatar Stars League183?1?[10]1??18+5
Dorados de Sinaloa2005–06[213]Mexican Primera División101??10+1+
Career total3982133+3+72+421+0524+28+


Appearances and goals by national team and year
National teamYearAppsGoals

International goals

Scores and results list Spain's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Guardiola goal.[12][213]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
116 December 1992Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain2Latvia2–05–01994 FIFA World Cup qualification
227 June 1994Soldier Field, Chicago, United States12Bolivia1–03–11994 FIFA World Cup
314 December 1996Mestalla, Valencia, Spain18Yugoslavia1–02–01998 FIFA World Cup qualification
412 February 1997José Rico Pérez, Alicante, Spain20Malta1–04–01998 FIFA World Cup qualification
53 June 2000Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden35Sweden1–01–1Friendly

Managerial statistics

Managerial record

As of 28 September 2019
Managerial record by club and tenure
Barcelona B21 June 200730 June 2008422895066.7[214][215]
Barcelona1 July 200830 June 20122471794721072.5[216][217][218][219]
Bayern Munich26 June 2013[86]30 June 2016[143]1611212119075.2[143]
Manchester City1 July 2016present1841342624072.8[220][221][222]



Barcelona B

  • Segunda División B: 1990–91


  • La Liga: 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1998–99

  • Copa del Rey: 1996–97, 1997–98

  • Supercopa de España: 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996

  • European Cup: 1991–92

  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1996–97

  • European Super Cup: 1992, 1997

Spain U23

  • Olympic Gold Medal: 1992


  • Bravo Award: 1992

  • Olympics – Spain Best Player: 1992

  • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 2000


Barcelona B

  • Tercera División: 2007–08


  • La Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11

  • Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12

  • Supercopa de España: 2009, 2010, 2011

  • UEFA Champions League: 2008–09, 2010–11

  • UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011

  • FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011

Bayern Munich

  • Bundesliga: 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16

  • DFB-Pokal: 2013–14, 2015–16

  • UEFA Super Cup: 2013

  • FIFA Club World Cup: 2013

Manchester City


  • Don Balón Award: 2009, 2010

  • Miguel Muñoz Trophy: 2008–09, 2009–10

  • Onze d'Or Coach of the Year: 2009, 2011, 2012

  • World Soccer Magazine World Manager of the Year: 2009, 2011

  • World Soccer Magazine 5th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2013[224]

  • France Football 5th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2019[225]

  • ESPN FC 18th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2013[226]

  • IFFHS World's Best Club Coach: 2009, 2011

  • European Coach of the Year—Alf Ramsey Award: 2011

  • European Coach of the Season: 2008–09

  • UEFA Team of the Year Best Coach: 2008–09, 2010–11

  • La Liga Coach of the Year: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

  • FIFA World Coach of the Year: 2011[227]

  • Globe Soccer Awards Coach Career Award: 2013

  • Premier League Manager of the Month: February 2017, September 2017, October 2017, November 2017, December 2017, February 2019, April 2019[223]

  • Premier League Manager of the Season: 2017–18, 2018–19[223]

  • LMA Manager of the Year: 2017–18[228]


  • Gold Medal Royal Order of Sports Merit: 2010[229]

  • Catalan of the Year Award: 2009

See also

  • List of La Liga winning managers

  • List of English football championship-winning managers

  • List of FA Cup winning managers

  • List of European Cup and UEFA Champions League winning managers

  • List of UEFA Super Cup winning managers


Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgIncludes Copa del Rey, Coppa Italia and Qatar Emir Cup
Sep 29, 2019, 2:37 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgAppearances in Segunda División B promotion playoffs
Sep 29, 2019, 2:37 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgAppearances in European Cup
Sep 29, 2019, 2:37 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgAppearances in Supercopa de España
Sep 29, 2019, 2:37 AM
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Sep 29, 2019, 2:37 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgTwo appearances in Supercopa de España, one appearance in Intercontinental Cup
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Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgAppearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
Sep 29, 2019, 2:37 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgAppearances in UEFA Cup
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Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgAppearance(s) in Arab Champions League
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