Pep Guardiola

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Full name Josep Guardiola Sala
Born 18 January 1971
Santpedor, Spain
Position(s) Defensive midfielder
Current team Manchester City (manager)

Josep “Pep” Guardiola Sala is a Spanish professional football manager and former player, who is the current manager of Premier League club Manchester City. He is often considered to be one of the greatest managers of all time and holds the records for the most consecutive league games won in La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League.


Personal Life

Guardiola was born to Dolors and Valentí. He has two older sisters and a younger brother, Pere, a football agent. He is non-religious. Guardiola met his wife when he was 18. They married on 29 May 2014. They have three children named Maria, Màrius, and Valentina.

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. To prepare for his position as the manager of Bayern Munich, Guardiola studied German for four to five hours each day. In the same year, Tito Vilanova, former assistant manager at Barcelona under Guardiola, was in New York for the treatment of a life-threatening throat cancer. Vilanova was disappointed that Guardiola only saw him once in two months in the city, stating “He’s my friend and I needed him, but he wasn’t there for me.”

During his time with the Mexican club Dorados in Culiacán, Guardiola gave away “envelopes full of cash” to the lowest paid employees at the club.

Guardiola supports the political independence of Catalonia. In 2015, he confirmed that he would participate in the pro-independence coalition Junts pel Sí in that year’s regional parliamentary election.

Club Career

  • Barcelona

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.

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. Guardiola played 479 games in 12 seasons for the first team, winning 16 trophies.

  • 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. 

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. CONI, however, reopened the case against the player because it considered the absolution unacceptable, but he was cleared once again on 29 September 2009.

  • Al-Ahli

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.

  • 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.

International Career

  • Spain

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.

  • Catalonia

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

Player Profile

  • Style of Play

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 usually deployed as either a central or defensive midfielder in front of his team’s back-line, although he was also capable of playing in more advanced midfield roles.

Although he was competent defensively and able to press opponents to break up play and win the ball effectively through his team-work and defensive positioning, he also had a tendency to give away many fouls; as such, and also in part due to his slender physical build, he usually functioned as a deep-lying playmaker in front of the defence, where he excelled courtesy of his technical ability and intelligent, efficient, precise passing game.

Managerial Career

  • Barcelona

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

  • 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. He addressed his first press conference as Bayern manager, on 24 June 2013, in German.

In December 2013, Guardiola won his third Club World Cup after beating Raja Casablanca in Morocco. On 25 March 2014, he led Bayern to their 23rd Bundesliga title by beating Hertha BSC 3–1 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

In Guardiola’s 100th match as head coach, Bayern defeated Porto 6–1. With the win, Bayern reached their fourth-straight Champions League semifinal. On 28 April 2015, Bayern were knocked out of the German Cup in a shoot-out. Bayern had missed all four of their shots. In his first competitive match against Barcelona, Bayern lost 3–0. Bayern failed to get a shot on target in the match. For the first time in his career, he lost four in a row (including shoot-out loss).

Guardiola’s final match was on 21 May 2016. Bayern defeated Borussia Dortmund in a shootout. 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.

  • Manchester City

On 1 February 2016, Manchester City signed Guardiola to a three-year contract for the start of the 2016–17 season. Guardiola brought in several significant signings in the summer.

On 25 February 2017, City beat Arsenal 3–0 to win the EFL Cup, Guardiola’s first trophy with the club. On 15 April, City were confirmed as Premier League champions following Manchester United’s 0–1 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion. After finishing the season with a record-breaking 100 points, Guardiola signed a new contract with City until 2021.

On 24 February 2019, his side played 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 to retain the trophy for the second year in a row.

On 1 March 2020, Manchester City beat Aston Villa 2–1 in the EFL Cup Final, winning Guardiola and City a third successive league cup. Manchester City finished second in the 2019–20 Premier League, after finishing 18 points behind champions Liverpool. After defeating Real Madrid in the round of 16 of the 2019–20 Champions League, Guardiola’s side faced Lyon in the single-elimination quarter-finals on 15 August 2020. City lost the match 3–1, hence being eliminated in the quarter-finals of the competition for the third season in a row.

On 31 January 2021, Guardiola won his 500th game as manager as City beat Sheffield United 1–0 at home in the Premier League. City won all nine games in January and became the team with the most wins (9) in a single month in the top four tiers of English football since the Football League began in 1888.

On 25 April 2021, Guardiola won his fourth successive EFL Cup as City beat Tottenham Hotspur 1–0 in the final. On 4 May, Guardiola led City to their first Champions League final after defeating Paris Saint-Germain 4–1 on aggregate in the semi-finals. On 11 May 2021, Guardiola won his third Premier League title after Manchester United lost to Leicester City at home.


Honours

Player

Barcelona B

  • Segunda División B: 1990–91

Barcelona

  • La Liga: 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1998–99
  • Copa del Rey: 1996–97
  • Supercopa de España: 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996
  • European Cup: 1991–92
  • UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup: 1996–97
  • European/UEFA Super Cup: 1992, 1997

Spain U23

  • Olympic Gold Medal: 1992

Individual

  • Bravo Award: 1992
  • Olympics – Spain Best Player: 1992
  • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 2000

Manager

Barcelona B

  • Tercera División: 2007–08

Barcelona

  • 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

  • Premier League: 2017–18, 2018–19, 2020–21
  • FA Cup: 2018–19
  • EFL Cup: 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21
  • FA Community Shield: 2018, 2019
  • UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2020–21

Individual

  • 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
  • France Football 5th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2019
  • ESPN 18th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2013
  • 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
  • Globe Soccer Awards Coach Career Award: 2013
  • Globe Soccer Awards Coach of the Century: 2020
  • Premier League Manager of the Month: February 2017, September 2017, October 2017, November 2017, December 2017, February 2019, April 2019, January 2021, February 2021, November 2021
  • Premier League Manager of the Season: 2017–18, 2018–19, 2020–21
  • LMA Manager of the Year: 2017–18, 2020–21
  • League Managers Association (LMA) Hall of Fame

Decorations

  • Gold Medal Royal Order of Sports Merit: 2010

Catalan of the Year Award: 2009

What is Pep Guardiola wife’s name?

Pep Guardiola wife’s name is Cristina Serra. She is a Brazilian journalist, writer, and a Spanish fashionista.

What was Pep Guardiola’s first club as player?

Pep Guardiola’s first club as player was Barcelona.

What is Pep Guardiola net worth?

Pep Guardiola has an estimated net worth of £31 million. Most of his earnings can be attributed to his football contracts, and lucrative endorsement deals and investments.

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