World Famous People
Guardiola joined La Masia aged 13 and rose through the ranks at the youth academy of Barcelona for six years, making his début in 1990 against Cádiz. As Phil Ball writes in "Morbo", "In his first week at the club, Cruyff turned up unannounced at the 'Mini' stadium, a venue just down the road from Camp Nou used by the youth and B teams. Just before half-time he wandered into the dug-out and asked Charly Rexach, the youth team manager at the time, the name of the young skinny lad playing on the right side of midfield. 'Guardiola - good lad' came the reply. Cruyff ignored the comment and told Rexach to move him into the middle for the second half, to play as pivote, a difficult position to adapt to and one not used by many teams in Spain at the time. 'Pep' Guardiola adjusted immediately, as Cruyff had suspected he would, and when he moved up into the first-team in 1990 he became the true fulcrum of the Dream Team." Johan Cruyff utilised the young defensive midfielder in the absence of the suspended Guillermo Amor. He became a first team regular in the 1991-92 season and at only 20 years old was a key component of a side that won La Liga, the European Cup and the Spain national side that triumphed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. The prestigious Italian magazine "Guerin Sportivo" heralded Guardiola as the finest player in the world under the age of 21.
Cruyff's Dream Team went on to retain the La Liga title in the 92-93 and 93-94 seasons, with Guardiola again playing a pivotal role. The side, strengthened by recent signings of players like Romário, again reached the UEFA Champions League Final, but were humbled Capello's Milan in Athens and lost the match 4-0.
Cruyff left in 1996, with FC Barcelona having come 4th in the 1994-95 season and 3rd in the 1995-96 season, but Guardiola retained his position at the heart of FC Barcelona's midfield. In the 1996-97 season, FC Barcelona, led this time by Bobby Robson, won a treble of cups - the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup. Much of the Dream Team had by this time left, with new signings such as Luís Figo and Ronaldo taking over from Hristo Stoichkov and Txiki Begiristain - Guardiola, however, remained a constant. At the end of the 1996-97 season, FC Barcelona rejected offers from AS Roma and Parma (of around 300 million pesetas) for Guardiola; after prolonged and complicated contract talks, Guardiola signed a new contract with the Catalan club which extended his stay until 2001. His buyout clause was fixed at 15,000 million pesetas, the second highest in the Spanish league.
A calf muscle injury ruled Guardiola out of most of the 1997-98 season, in which FC Barcelona won a league and cup double under new manager Louis van Gaal. He returned to action the following season and FC Barcelona once again won the league thanks largely to the performances of Rivaldo and Figo. On 8 June 1998, Guardiola underwent surgery to try to solve once and for all the problems that he was experiencing with his calf which had led to him missing the 1998 FIFA World Cup for Spain. A largely disappointing 1999-00 season ended once again in surgery as Guardiola missed the last three months of the season due to a serious ankle injury.
The 2000-2001 season was perhaps the worst Guardiola experienced as a player at the club. FC Barcelona did not win any silverware and earned only a modest fourth place finish in the league, barely qualifying for the Champions League. On 11 April 2001, FC Barcelona's captain announced his intention to leave the club after 17 years of service. He stated that it was a personal decision and, in part, a response to what he perceived as football heading in a new, more physical, direction. On 24 June 2001, Guardiola played his last match with Barça in the last game of the season against Celtic.
Guardiola played 479 games for the club, in 12 glittering seasons in the Barcelona first team, winning 16 trophies. At the press conference after the Celtic game, he said: 'It's been a long journey. I'm happy, proud, happy with the way people treated me and I have made many friends. I cannot ask for more. I have had many years in the elite. I did not come to make history but to make my own history.' Guardiola was slow, but intelligently gifted with skill and foresight, rarely scored goals but set up most from rediculous positions on the field, he won six league titles, a European Cup and Olympic gold, amongst a plethora of other trophies. Born in the Catalan town of Santpedor, schooled barely 100 metres from Camp Nou and resident at La Masia, the traditional farmhouse that stands incongruously in its shadow, he was the metronome at the heart of the finest side Barcelona produced, ordering, constructing, constantly moving the ball. He has been the hero of a number of Spain's current midfield greats, especially, Xavi and Iniesta, and Cesc Fàbregas has stated that Guardiola is his role model and hero.
After leaving FC Barcelona in 2001 at the age of 31, he was linked with several clubs such as Newcastle United, Manchester United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, plus both Milanese clubs of Milan and Internazionale. But Guardiola joined Italian side Brescia Calcio and then Roma in the Italian Serie A. However, his time in Italy was unhappy and included a four month ban after testing positive for Nandrolone. Six years later, on 23 October 2007, Guardiola was cleared on appeal of all charges that had led to the ban. However, CONI reopened the cause against the player, because it considers the argumentation of the absolution unacceptable, but he was cleared once again on 29 September 2009.. His time in Italy was not nearly as successful as his glittering career at FC Barcelona. He played a number of Coppa Italia games and UEFA Champions League games, finishing with a rather unhappy 71 games in Italy.
After his rather stressful career with Brescia and Roma, two of Italy's best teams, at age 34, he chose to play in Qatar with Al-Ahli from Doha in the Qatar Stars League, where many fellow greats were playing, such as Gabriel Batistuta. He had rejected another offer from Manchester United F.C., as he wanted to play elsewhere. He was to have a much better experience in the Middle East, becoming a regular in the Qatar Stars League, being one of the finest players to grace the Qatar Stars League. In 2005-06, he turned down offers from a number of top class European sides, such as Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, because he felt his glittering career was coming to a close.
Dorados al Sinaloa
In 2006 when Juan Manuel Lillo was appointed manager of elite club Dorados de Sinaloa, he recruited Guardiola to play for the club, while he was in manager school. He subsequently played for six months, gracing the division with the remains of his midfield magic, before hanging up his boots, ending his illustrious career as one of the best defensive midfielders to ever play the game.
Guardiola with Spain.
Guardiola made his senior debut on 14 October 1992 in 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in a World Cup qualifier. In the same year, Guardiola captained Spain when they won their most prestigious award, a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games. It was in this year when he won the Bravo Award, voted to be the world's best player under the age of 21. This gold medal would be the only tournament Spain would win until Euro 2008. Between 1992 and 2001, Guardiola was a regular midfield maestro, playing over 67 times and scoring five goals for the senior Spain team, becoming a Spain midfield legend. He was a member of the Spain team during the 1994 World Cup, where he would lead Spain to the quarter-finals, narrowly losing to Italy 2-1. He fell out of favour with Javier Clemente, the Spain manager, due to difference and disagreement between the two, and missed out on Euro 1996. He suffered a career-threatening injury in 1998, which kept him out of the 1998 World Cup, but he later played at Euro 2000, where he would lead Spain to yet another quarter-final appearance, this time losing to France by the same margin, 2-1. He would lead the Spain midfield until his final appearance for Spain, in 1-0 win in a friendly against Mexico on 14 November 2001, and scoring his last international goal against Sweden in a 1-1 draw, in his 45 appearance.. He is one of Spain's greatest players and midfielders.
Guardiola has also played for and been a strong advocate of the Catalonia national football team, as well as of the independence of Catalonia itself. Between 1995 and 2005, he played seven friendly games for the regional team of Catalonia, against, among others, Nigeria.
Guardiola was appointed coach of FC Barcelona B on 21 June 2007. Under his guidance, the team subsequently won their "Tercera División" group and qualified for the 2008 Segunda División B playoffs. FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta announced before the end of the 2007-08 season that Josep Guardiola would be appointed manager of FC Barcelona to replace Frank Rijkaard at the end of the season.
Guardiola in 2009.
After leading the 'B' side to promotion to "Segunda División B", Guardiola revealed that Ronaldinho, Deco, Samuel Eto'o and others were not part of his plans for next season. By the time of the announcement, Guardiola had already offloaded full back Gianluca Zambrotta to Milan, attacking midfielder Giovani dos Santos to Tottenham Hotspur, and midfielder Edmílson to Villarreal. Deco went to Chelsea, while the iconic Ronaldinho was sold to Milan. Lilian Thuram was going to Paris Saint-Germain but the discovery of a heart condition put a stop to the move, and the veteran retired to tend to his health. Oleguer Presas signed with Ajax, Santiago Ezquerro was released by Barça and Marc Crosas was sold to Celtic. The fate of Samuel Eto'o took much of the summer to unravel, with the Cameroonian linked with several clubs, but Guardiola finally declared that he would stay after his dedication in training and participation in the pre-season..
Under Guardiola's new leadership, several new signings were made. Dani Alves and Seydou Keita arrived from Sevilla, Martín Cáceres from Villarreal by way of Recreativo, Gerard Piqué returned from Manchester United, and Aliaksandr Hleb was signed from Arsenal. Henrique was also signed from Palmeiras, but was immediately loaned out to Bayer Leverkusen.
Guardiola's first competitive game as coach was in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, in which Barça comfortably beat Polish club Wis?a Kraków 4–0 at home. FC Barcelona was defeated 1–0 in Kraków, but progressed with a 4-1 aggregate victory. Promoted Numancia also defeated FC Barcelona in the opening match-day of the La Liga, but the team then went on an undefeated streak for over 20 matches to move to the top of the league. Barça would maintain their spot atop La Liga's table, securing their first league title since 2006 when Real Madrid lost at Villareal on May 16, 2009.
Josep Guardiola celebrating Barcelona's 2009 UEFA Champions League Final with .
The league title was the second piece of silverware in Guardiola's first season at the Camp Nou. On May 13, 2009, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, defeating Athletic Bilbao 4-1.
Guardiola finished the season by leading Barça to the final of the Champions League, where they beat Manchester United 2–0. In doing so, they became the first Spanish club to win the domestic cup, league, and European club titles (the treble) in the same season. Furthermore, Guardiola became the youngest coach ever to coach a Champions League winning team.
Guardiola has shown preference to playing a 4-3-3 system, the same system used by Frank Rijkaard. In interviews with the press, his players stressed a harder work ethic than before, but also a more personal approach during training and a closer relationship with their new coach.
On September 26, FC Barcelona gave Pep Guardiola his 50th professional victory, away against Málaga.
Guardiola at .
Pep Guardiola was born in Santpedor, to Dolors and Valenti. He has two older sisters, Francesca and Olga, and younger brother, Pere.
Guardiola is married to Cristina Serra, whom he met the first time in a clothing store when he was 18. The couple have three children: Maria (born December 2000), Màrius (born 2003) and Valentina (born May 5, 2008).
He's a close friend to Manel Estiarte, whom he has known since 1992. His close friends are also Luís Figo, Luis Enrique, Tito Vilanova and Johan Cruyff.
La Liga: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999
Copa del Rey: 1997, 1998
Supercopa de España: 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996
UEFA Champions League: 1992
European Cup Winners' Cup: 1996-97
European Super Cup: 1992, 1997
Bravo Award: 1992
UEFA All-Star Team: 1992, 2000
Olympics Spain Best Player: 1992
La Liga: 2008-09
Copa del Rey: 2009
Supercopa de España: 2009
UEFA Champions League: 2009
UEFA Super Cup: 2009
Don Balón Award for Best Coach of the Year : 2009
Onze d'Or for Best European Coach : 2009
Miguel Muñoz Trophy for Best Coach of the Year : 2009
Josep Guardiola, world famous people, coach, biography, Barcelona