Pep Gaurdiola started off his journey in football by playing as a defensive midfielder and a playmaker. He featured in Johan Cruyff’s “Dream Team”.
As a player, he won four consecutive La Liga titles from 1991 to 1994, and also had glory in European Championships with FC Barcelona.
After retiring as a player, he was appointed as the coach for “Barcelona B” team. He went on to become one of the most successful managers the world has ever seen, and his record of winning, especially league titles is impeccable.
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Managerial Career and titles
Pep was appointed the manager of senior side of FC Barcelona in 2008, and had his first competitive game in the UEFA Champions League. After losing his first match in the La Liga, he led Barcelona to the top of the table with an unbeaten run of 20 games. He defeated Real Madrid 6-2 in his first El Classico.
The Spaniard’s first season was nothing short of a dream as he led Barcelona to become the first Spanish team to win a treble - the Copa Del Rey, La Liga and the Champions League. He was also the youngest manager to win a Champions League title. Out of his first 100 games for Barcelona, he won 71 and only lost 10.
He retained the La Liga title in his second season, with 99 points, which were at the time the highest points to be scored in any major European League ever. His amazing spell at Barcelona continued as he beat Real Madrid in five back to back El Classicos.
In the 2010-11 season, Guardiola’s boys lost to Real Madrid in the finals of the Copa Del Rey. However, his magic led Barcelona to a third La Liga victory in a row and second Champions League victory, winning 3-1 against Manchester United in the finals.
In 2012, he was named FIFA Coach of the Year. His last season in Barcelona saw him win the FIFA Club World Cup and the Copa Del Rey, as Tito Valanova was announced to be his replacement.
After taking a year-long sabbatical, Pep went on to coach Bayern Munich for three seasons. He won the Bundesliga in all his three seasons and lifted the DFB-Pokhal trophy twice. He then announced that he would step down and make way for Carlo Ancelotti to return to Bayern Munich.
Though Pep was successful in domestic competitions, he did not taste European glory during his time at Bayern, losing out to his former team Barcelona at one occasion.
Pep made his way to England to join the Premier League heavyweights Manchester City, signing a three-year contract in 2016. Though the season kicked off in a positive way, the time period after the international break was his worst period as a manager and City failed to win a single trophy.
However, in the 2017-18 season, Pep’s City are placed comfortably at the top of the table.
In his short time as a manager, Pep has won a total of 21 trophies, which is a staggering and commendable figure.
Guardiola follows a disciplined playing style with a great focus on possession and aggressive pressing style, which was perfectly seen when he was the manager of Barcelona. He played the fullbacks like Dani Alves at a high defensive line.
Pep showed likeness for the False Nine position, with Messi taking the role of the centre forward at times. Guardiola often used the 3-4-3 line up, with Fabregas as an attacking midfielder and Busquets as a holding midfielder.
Presently, Pep is pushing the boundaries of tactical brilliance at City. A heavy position game is played along with consecutive and repetitive counter attacks. He fully exploits the depth of the City attack, tactically placing players like Aguero, Sterling and Jesus.