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Man for big games

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You know you are good at what you’re doing when words of affirmation are thrown at every given moment. Pep Guardiola is one of those.

The Spaniard who had a successful career as a footballer has also built his legacy as a football manager. Known as the genius who brought the best out of Lionel Messi, Pep certainly knows his way around the beautiful game.

One of the very few exceptional managers to grace the game, Guardiola is now attempting to help Manchester City win their first European and UEFA Champions League title. The Spaniard himself hasn’t won the biggest trophy of club football for almost the last 12 years now.

The famous old competition remains the only major trophy to have escaped Guardiola so far during his seven-year spell in Manchester, having collected five Premier League medals and a whole host of domestic cup silverware.

And while Manchester City may be hunting their very first win in the Champions League, the legendary manager certainly isn’t. FootTheBall takes a look at Pep Guardiola’s UCL finals record and his record in Europe’s premier competition in general.

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Pep Guardiola Champions League wins

Manchester City have never won the Champions League in their storied history, whilst Pep Guardiola himself has not clinched the trophy for many years now. The Spaniard is widely regarded as one of the best managers in the 21st century and has helped Man City dominate England like no team before.

Under Pep, Manchester City have earned the most points in a single Premier League season (100), and are the only male English side to clinch the domestic treble. However, Guardiola has come up short in Europe for many years now.

Despite managing Bayern Munich and Manchester City in recent times, Guardiola’s last Champions League triumph came all the way back in the 2010/11 season when Barcelona bested Manchester United 3-1.

How many times has Pep won Champions League?

Beyond results, Guardiola is widely praised for his tactical genius and how he’s redefined the way football is interpreted. His Barcelona team drew plenty of admirers for what felt like an era-defining ability to win and maintain the ball. When Manchester United lost the Champions League final to Barcelona in 2011, Sir Alex Ferguson said of Guardiola’s team: “In my time as a manager, I would say they’re the best team we’ve faced.”

Guardiola has won the Champions League twice in his career, and both of those victories came during his time at Barcelona. It has been widely regarded that Pep Guardiola needs to win a UCL title outside of Barcelona to stamp his credentials as one of the best managers of all time.


Pep Guardiola’s UCL finals record

Although Pep Guardiola has won more than 30 trophies in his 15 years as a professional manager, he “only” triumphed twice in the Champions League both times during his stint with Barcelona. The club where he started his career as a football player and made a name for himself.

The final of the 2008-2009 season was played at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, and It was the eighth time the final has been held in Italy and the fourth time it has been held at the Olympic Stadium. Barcelona played against the defending champions Manchester United – Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi were the only goal scorers who lead the Catalan club to the treble, following on from their successes in La Liga and Copa del Rey.

Pep and his players did not wait for too long for the next chance to play in the Champions League. Once again Manchester United were their rivals in the 2010/11 final as they claimed their fourth title. Barcelona won 3-1 with goals from Pedro, Lionel Messi, and David Villa. Wayne Rooney responded for United.

Pep had to wait another 10 years for a chance to play his next UCL final. Although this time around, it did not go as planned. His Manchester City team were up against a resurgent Chelsea side under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel. City lost that night 1-0 courtesy of a Kai Havertz goal, and was Guardiola’s first loss in a Champions League final.

Now after two years, Pep Guardiola once again has the chance to win it again. If he does it will be his third and City’s first. Guardiola could become the sixth coach in football history to have won the Champions League with more than one club.

*This article is sponsored by Khelo India, a flagship program to inculcate a sporting culture in the country.


Arnold Lewis
A hardcore Chelsea fan, who is often found playing football on the weekends. He has an exceptional voice and his rendition of old Hindi classic songs will make your heart melt. He is the man with the funky hair.

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