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Why Pep Guardiola Will Never Win A Champions League Medal Again



Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola is a great manager, he’s also a disciplined and dedicated tactician but a fraud. The Catalan master planner was trained in the renowned ways of the Ajax school of coaching, he mastered the tiki-taka and has won a plethora of trophies. However, a deeper look into the microscopic bits of his method will unravel holes and errors that make him unworthy of adoration. Errors that make one question if he’d ever make it again at the highest level of club football.

“Success and failure are both part of life. Both are not permanent.” – Shahrukh Khan

47-year-old Pep Guardiola began his managerial career with the Barcelona B team, his unique work the youth team led to his recommendation with the senior Barcelona team where he went on to win 14 trophies, including two Champions League titles in four successful seasons. He left the club and went on to manage German behemoths Bayern Munich where he spent three years, crashing out of the UCL in the semi-finals in all three seasons.

After failing to winning the coveted European title the Germans hired him to win, he swapped the Red attire of Bayern for the Blue colours of Manchester City in 2016, crashing out of the UCL in the round of 16 in his first season and the quarter finals in his second, last night to Liverpool.

The fact now is, he has struggled in the Champions League since he left Calatan giants Barcelona, a keen look at his reign in Spain will unravel that Guardiola’s four successful years in Spain coincided with four of the best years of Argentine wizard Lionel Messi, who is arguably currently the greatest player on the planet. Those four years saw the diminutive forward, crowned the best player on the planet with four Balon D’Or titles. A title the 30-year-old won just once since that time.

Guardiola’s team was built around Messi, a construction that led to fall out with several attackers that featured in the Barcelona team in those year. After losing the presence an extraordinarily exceptional footballer to build a team around, he has found competition at the European stage difficult.

The quality of the Barcelona squad in those career defining years for Messi and Guardiola was good enough to win the UEFA Champions League with any other great manager of the likes of Bob Paisley, Jock Stein, Rinus Michels, Brian Clough and Carlo Ancelotti, or any of the renowned managers in that decade. Any one of those managers could have won the UCL at least twice in four years like Pep. It’s no surprise when UEFA made a top 10 great managers list in 2017, Guardiola was excluded, while his firm rival Jose Mourinho was included. Why then is Pep fondly adored? Why is he celebrated universally better than the pragmatic Portuguese tactician?

A particular reason Manchester United’s Mourinho is heavily criticised is that he plays a conservative one-dimensional style of football, a quality Guardiola is also guilty of. Unlike Mou, Pep doesn’t seems to appreciate the relevance of defending which can be just as important as attacking. Judging by his UCL failures, it’s not far-fetched to note he doesn’t learn from his errors.

Also see: How Roman Gladiators Stunned Catalan Giants Barcelona 

Real Madrid scored four times against his Bayern Munich side at the Allianz Arena in 2014, while his former club Barcelona scored three against the Germans in the Nou Camp a year later. This year, his Manchester City side traveled to the Merseyside for the first leg of their quarter final match up with Liverpool where they lost 3-0, he also lost the second leg last night 2-1 at home to the Reds crashing out of the Champions League 5-1 on aggregate.

All this failures goes on to prove his genius status his questionable, adding to the theory that his success with Barcelona was not on the basis of his quality but that of the Barcelona squad of that Era.


Fans of the sensational manager will however not fail to point out that he succeeded in Bayern Munich picking up three titles and is on the verge of his first title with Manchester City. His success will Bayern can easily be laughed off with the dominance of the German champions in the Bundesliga but one must not fail to note than Pep has spent 1.025 billion in last 9 years in management. That alone questions the validity of all his successes.

After a second year of failure in the Champions League with The Citizens, it is not implausible to believe his third year would be any better judging with his history in the competition. The Sky Blues hierarchy would definitely lose their last shred of confidence in the Spanish manager but his well exaggerated quality will lead him to another mega club, probably the likes of PSG or Juventus. Where he would go on to fail again, until the whole world realizes he’s a football fraud, except he gets to manage a new one in a life-time performer like Messi again.

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