It’s often said that great players do not go on to become great managers. Pep Guardiola is definitely the exception to that rule.
As a player, Guardiola was part of the Barcelona side that won the club’s first European Cup in 1991-92, as well as six league titles, four of them consecutive between the 1990-91 and 1993-94 seasons. He captained the club, before leaving after 17 years. He went on to have a handful of briefs stints at other clubs, including Brescia and Roma, but will always be remembered as a player for his time at Barcelona.
After retiring as a player, he took charge of Barcelona B for a year, before replacing Frank Rijkaard as manager of the senior team. Almost immediately, everything clicked. Guardiola brought back the football that Barcelona saw as part of their DNA, built around a midfield trio of Xavi, Sergio Busquets, and Iniesta, with a little help from Lionel Messi.
He was unwavering in enforcing his philosophy of positional play onto his team, and in return they delivered success, season upon season, playing scintillating football. After four years, he took a one-year sabbatical. He came back refreshed, and took over at Bayern Munich for three seasons, tweaking his tactics and ensuring their domestic dominance continued.
From there, he moved to Manchester City, where he continued to find success, especially on the domestic level.
Pep Guardiola won trophies
Across his stints at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City, Guardiola has won 10 league titles.
He has also won 14 domestic cups, although his time in England has seen him competing for two domestic cups every season, the FA Cup and the League Cup, while Germany and Spain only feature one domestic cup, the DFB-Pokal and the Copa del Rey respectively.
In international competition, Guardiola has won the Champions League twice with Barcelona, three UEFA Super Cups, as well as three FIFA Club World Cups (twice with Barcelona and once with Bayern Munich).
Guardiola also won the Tercera Division during his year at Barcelona B, and he holds the record for the most consecutive games won in the Premier League, Bundesliga, and La Liga.
Pep Guardiola trophies in the Premier League
Having taken over in 2016, Pep Guardiola spent some time adapting to the competitiveness of the Premier League, while also making changes to the playing squad at City. However, he soon found his feet and he has won four Premier League titles in the last five seasons.
In the 2017-18 season, he managed a double, as his team won the Premier League and the League Cup, a feat they repeated in the 2020-21 season. They picked up another League Cup in the 2019-20 season.
The most impressive season so far has been the 2018-19 season, which saw the team manage the treble of the Premier League, FA Cup, and League Cup.
Guardiola has also twice won the FA Community Shield while managing City. However, he hasn’t lifted any European silverware, with just one Champions League final to his name (lost vs. Chelsea in 2021).
Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich trophies
Expectations were always high when Guardiola joined a side with the domestic dominance of Bayern Munich, and he did not disappoint.
While evolving the tactical framework he implemented at Barcelona, Guardiola’s side waltzed to the Bundesliga titles all three seasons he was at the club, 2013-14 to 2015-16. He also picked up the DFB-Pokal twice, in the first and last season.
The team had already qualified for the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup when Guardiola joined, and he helped them win both competitions. However, it was a source of disappointment to many that he did not bring the Champions League to Bayern Munich. As has been the case at City, he was accused of overthinking team selections and tactical approaches for big European games.
Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona trophies
Guardiola’s first management job at senior level was certainly eye catching.
In his first season, 2008-09, he won the treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League.
His team defended the league title over the next two seasons, while winning another Champions League in 2010-11, and a second Copa del Rey in 2011-12.
In addition, Barcelona twice won both the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup twice, after each of their Champions League wins.
On top of that, won the Supercopa de Espana in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Guardiola’s Barcelona team were seen by many as a breath of fresh air, as his intensely detailed approach produced a side that regularly swept all before them.