Has Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola ever won the Champions League?
As a player and as a coach, Pep Guardiola is no stranger to European finals. We take a look at his track record.
There is very little left in football that Pep Guardiola hasn’t won. As a player, he won all of the domestic honours that it is possible to win with Barcelona, plus three trophies in European competition. At international level, his playing days had come to an end just a few years before Spain’s golden age and World Cup-winning heroics but by that time, he was reaping successes year in, year out elsewhere as a coach.
So how well acquainted is the Man City manager with Ol’ Big Ears? He’s one of just seven men who can claim to have won the trophy both as a player and as a coach.
Guardiola, a European champion as a player
Pep was a member of Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team that won the European Cup in 1992, Barcelona’s first European crown. He was just 21 years old and in his first season with the first team when Barça took to the pitch to face Sampdoria at Wembley.
Fresh-faced and with a full head of hair, the young midfielder is just about recognisable, crouching down between Albert Ferrer and Juan Carlos for the team photo. Ronald Koeman’s unforgettable free-kick decided it, making Barcelona and Guardiola European champions for the first time.
It was the last final to be played under the guise of the European Cup. The competition was rebranded, a preliminary round added and became known as the Champions League from the following season.
Pep was appointed Barcelona coach in 2008, taking over from Frank Rijkaard (who had delivered the club’s second European crown a couple of years previously). Guardiola took the team to the 2008 final with the Catalan eliminating Bayern and Chelsea in the knockout phase. Manchester United were the rivals in the final at the Olimpico in Rome.
Barça were too strong on the day, winning 2-0 with goals from Eto’o and Messi. That triumph allowed Guardiola to join another select group - those to have won the trophy both as a player and as a manager.
Third title in 2011
Guardiola’s Barça repeated the feat three years later, beating United 3-1 at Wembley - the scene of his first European success. He enjoyed less luck during his three seasons in charge at Bayern. His team was knocked out in the semi-finals in three consecutive editions - eahc time by Spanish opposition (Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético).
So the City manager will head into Saturday’s final against Inter having won the European Cup/Champions League three times - once as a player and twice as a coach.
If his City side emerge as victors on Saturday, Guardiola will reached a couple of other milestones. He will become just the second manager to complete the classic treble with an English club (emulating Sir Alex Ferguson, the first, with United in 1999) - and also join another elite group - the coaches to have won the Champions League with two different clubs or more. To date, only five men have achieved such a feat.