Biography of Josep GuardiolaEven adversaries consistently regarded Pep Guardiola as a thoughtful and principled athlete, while admirers hailed him as one of the finest midfielders of his generation. However, injuries, which plagued him throughout his career, prevented Guardiola from realizing his full potential.
Upon becoming a coach in the mid-2000s, he began his tenure at his beloved Barcelona, where he had once achieved his most significant triumphs on the pitch. In his debut season, 2008/2009, Pep steered the team to a treble, securing victories in the domestic cup, league championship, and the Champions League. In subsequent seasons, replicating this monumental feat proved elusive, prompting him to move to Bayern Munich in 2012. However, the team's inconsistent performances fueled rumors questioning the Catalan's competence.
Yet, the determined Spaniard once again forged his own path: not only did he renew his contract twice, but he also led Manchester City to a coveted "golden hat-trick" by summer 2023, securing his second career treble with a Champions League victory.
Early YearsJosep Guardiola Sala was born on January 18, 1971, in the Spanish municipality of Santpedor, situated within Catalonia. He grew up with two elder sisters and later welcomed a younger brother to the family, Pere. Josep's mother was a homemaker, while his father worked as a bricklayer.
BarcelonaGuardiola first stepped onto the pitch in 1990 during a match against Cádiz. It was then that coach Johan Cruyff decided to transition Josep from his position on the right midfield flank, establishing him as a central midfielder. By the 1991/92 season, the young player truly began to shine. The team secured victory in the European Cup, and some Italian publications hailed Pep as the best youth player in the world.
In March 1993, Guardiola netted his first goal during a match against Real Valladolid.
For three consecutive seasons up to 1994, the team consistently topped La Liga. However, their fortune waned afterward. Post Cruyff's departure, Barça slipped to third and fourth positions.
A mere six months later, Pep was named Barcelona's captain. However, he spent most of the subsequent season sidelined due to injury. Other clubs, like Roma and Parma, expressed interest in acquiring Guardiola. Yet, instead of transferring, Josep extended his contract until 2001.
In April 2001, Pep announced his departure from the club. Over 12 seasons, he clinched 16 trophies with the team. Additionally, during those years, he made 47 appearances for the national team and scored 5 goals.
Brescia and the Doping ScandalThe athlete continued his career with Brescia and was named its captain within six months. However, Guardiola soon faced disqualification after the substance nandrolone, considered a doping agent, was detected in his samples. Josep vehemently denied any intentional doping and attributed the test results to substandard dietary supplements.
This stint also didn't last long, as in 2003, Pep moved to Al-Ahli, turning down an offer from Manchester United in the process. At the Arab club, he distinguished himself as one of the league's top players. By 2005, he caught the attention of clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea.
Coaching Career: BarcelonaIn 2007, Guardiola returned to his beloved Barcelona, this time as the coach of the B team. Under his guidance, the squad achieved promotion, and by the 2008/09 season, Pep took over as the head coach of the main team.
The following season saw the addition of Zlatan Ibrahimović and victories in the Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup. Pep became the first coach in global football to achieve such feats.
The 2010/11 season brought Barcelona another Champions League title and a Spanish Super Cup. A year later, they lifted the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. In January 2012, FIFA recognized Guardiola as the best coach. Nevertheless, in April of that same year, he announced his departure from Barcelona, citing exhaustion as the reason.
Bayern MunichAfter his successful tenure with the Spaniards, Pep took a year off, spending time in New York. In early 2013, it was announced that he would be taking over as the coach of Bayern Munich. Under his guidance, the Munich side won the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup, and secured the Bundesliga title. However, Bayern's Champions League campaign was markedly less successful, and Guardiola took personal responsibility for the team's shortcomings.
Manchester CityIn February 2016, Guardiola signed a three-year contract with the English club, which would see him earn a salary of €20 million per year. Pep's tenure at the team started with a series of victories, with their first loss coming against Tottenham Hotspur.
By the 2018/19 season, Manchester City was utterly dominant in England. The team clinched the Community Shield, the Football League Cup, the Premier League title, and the FA Cup, achieving a domestic treble, an unprecedented feat.
The subsequent two seasons also witnessed Pep's men winning the Football League Cups. Yet, the Champions League trophy remained elusive for the team. Rumors began circulating about a so-called "Guardiola curse", suggesting his team couldn't capture the trophy because all of Pep's luck was used up during his Champions League wins with Barcelona. Regardless of such rumors, in November 2020, the coach extended his contract with the club for another three years.
Personal Life of Josep GuardiolaPep has always been notably consistent in his personal relationships. He met his future wife, Cristina Serra, in a clothing store when he was just 18 years old. They decided to tie the knot in 2014, and by that time, the couple was already blessed with three children - two daughters and a son.
Josep Guardiola NowThe 2022/23 season put an end to the rumors surrounding the so-called "Guardiola Curse." Under his leadership, Manchester City completed a treble. The team conquered each tournament in succession: first, the FA Cup, then the Premier League championship. And finally, on June 10th, 2023, they emerged as victors in the UEFA Champions League, beating Inter Milan in the final. This marks the second treble in the history of English football.
I think the stars were aligned – the cup belongs to us. It wasn't our best performance in the final. But, perhaps, if we are lucky enough to make it to the final in the future, we will look better.After the triumph, the manager expressed his intention to take a brief hiatus before diving back into his work with renewed vigor. Manchester City extended his contract until 2025, promising Pep a significant raise to his current €23 million annual salary. This adjustment positions Guardiola as one of the highest-paid football managers in the world.
- Guardiola is known for his thoughtful approach to work: when he became the coach of Bayern Munich, he dedicated 5 hours a day to learning the German language.
- While Pep was at the Dorados club, he financially supported the lowest-paid employees by giving them bonuses from his personal earnings.
- Besides football, Guardiola is a big fan of golf and hockey.
- Josep is a huge admirer of the band Coldplay. He often uses their songs during training sessions.
- In 2023, Guardiola made a cameo appearance as himself in the popular series "Ted Lasso." with Jason Sudeikis.