#6 Douglas Costa
Like some of the other players on this list, Douglas Costa cannot be termed an outright failure under Pep Guardiola.
In his final season in charge at Bavaria in 2015-16, Pep Guardiola splashed the cash to lure Costa from Shakhtar Donetsk, making him the fourth-most expensive signing in the club's history at that time.
However, Costa, who was expected to take over the reins from Franck Ribery in the Bayern Munich midfield, failed to light up the stage despite contributing four goals and 14 assists in his debut Bundesliga season.
Nevertheless, despite his modest returns under Pep Guardiola, Costa only has fond memories of the Spanish tactician.
“Guardiola was the person who made the biggest difference in my growth. He allowed me to play in the right role. He called me and said: 'We have a plan for your career, are you coming to join us? Are you ready to learn how to play football?'. I replied: 'Yes, I'm ready.'"
#5 Xherdan Shaqiri
Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri arrived at Bayern Munich in the summer of 2012 and was part of the Bavarian giants' historic treble-winning side. However, his returns of eight goals and 13 assists in his debut season rapidly dwindled with the arrival of Pep Guardiola the next season.
Blighted by injuries, Shaqiri rapidly slid down the pecking under Pep Guardiola, scoring only nine more times and providing six assists before he was shipped to Inter Milan in January 2015.
Shaqiri does have regrets about his dip in form under the Spanish tactician, but holds Pep Guardiola in high esteem despite only playing one and a half injury-riddled seasons under him.
“My situation changed under Pep Guardiola, but I never had any problems with him. His training was special, detailed and pretty demanding - but absolutely ace. We did everything with the ball. Unfortunately I had some injury problems. This was disappointing of course, though I'd say I never feared competition and wanted to show the coach why he was wrong," said Shaqiri in a later interview.
#4 Yaya Toure
The player, however, never got going from the get-go, as Pep Guardiola favored Sergio Busquets to Toure in the defensive midfield role. Although Toure played in the 2009 Champions League final, it was only as a makeshift defender as the Blaugrana were short-staffed in that department due to injuries to their regular players.
Eventually, Toure left Camp Nou because he was not content playing second fiddle to Busquets and wanted more game-time, something that wasn't coming under Pep Guardiola.
"Whenever I asked him something, he always gave strange answers. He pretty much ignored me until City's offer came in. That's why I eventually opted to leave. I didn't speak to Guardiola for a year. If he had talked to me, I would have stayed at Barcelona. I did not want to go and wanted to end my career at Barcelona. However, he had no faith in me," reminisced Toure in a later interview.
A change of scenery worked wonders for Toure, and he was a man reborn. Toure hit the ground running, scoring ten goals in his first season at Manchester City in 2010-11 as he evolved into a formidable box-to-box colossus under Roberto Mancini; he had scored only six times in three seasons at Barcelona.
Years later, little love was lost when Pep Guardiola was reunited with Toure at Manchester City.
Toure was omitted from City's 2016-17 Champions League squad, and the player only played a handful of games under Pep Guardiola before leaving the club at the end of the next season, despite City winning the Premier League title.
Nevertheless, the manager showered praise on the player for his contribution to the success at Manchester City.Published 05 Nov 2020, 16:43 IST