Which Pep Guardiola team should be considered the best?
Since starting his managerial career in 2007, Pep Guardiola has won seven league titles and two Champions League alongside a range of less significant domestic and European trophies.
The Catalan has managed Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City in his incredible career: But which of his sides was the best?
3. Bayern Munich
Robert Lewandowski scored 5 goals in 9 minutes. https://t.co/yn2qTykklB
— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) February 13, 2018
In three seasons in Germany, Guardiola won a clean sweep of three Bundesliga titles and even Bayern even became the first club to win the title in March. He also clinched two German Cups—the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup—with a squad starring Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben, Xabi Alonso, Mario Mandžukić and right-back stalwart Phillip Lahm. However, the Champions League always eluded him during his leadership at the Allianz Arena, though he did reach the semi-final every season.
2. Manchester City
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 5, 2018
Guardiola’s City team are commonly regarded as one of, if not the, greatest team to have ever played in the Premier League. Recording 100 points in a single season is a phenomenal achievement, and the so-called ‘shark team’ went onto win the title with the biggest point margin, scored the most goals, won the most games, won the most away games and finished the season with the best goal difference. The signing of Ederson from Benfica fixed City’s long-term goalkeeping issues, while Sergio Agüero maintained his goalscoring form and has now scored over 200 goals in blue to become the club’s record scorer. The sheer numbers behind Guardiola’s second season in Manchester make it more impressive than his time in Germany. However, much like in his time at Bayern, the lack of Champions League success means his spell at City doesn’t challenge the number one spot.
1. FC Barcelona
Guardiola rose through the ranks at Barcelona to become the club’s manager in 2008. Upon becoming the first-team coach, Guardiola took the significant decision to move Ronaldinho and Deco away from the club to allow younger players to step up. A certain 20-year-old Argentinian called Lionel Messi took the vacated number 10 shirt and the rest, as they say, is history. Guardiola’s ‘tiki-taka’ style of play, anchored by Xavi and Andrés Iniesta, turned out to be an incredibly successful formula. Three La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, three Supercopa de Españas, two Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and, vitally, two Champions League wins followed. Trophies aside, the players and the style of play made this Barcelona team a joy to watch. Even the players in that team that would often be mocked on social media, namely Sergio Busquets and Víctor Valdés, had careers under Guardiola that other players could only dream of. In the seemingly eternal debate regarding the greatest football team of all time, Guardiola’s Barça team is rightly always considered.