Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola ruled out a return to FC Barcelona and added that an ex-player could be the next manager of the Catalan club. Guardiola himself has played for and managed Barcelona in his career, with an envious bounty of trophies.
Speaking to Catalan network TV3, Guardiola said, “I hope someone like Xavi, Sergio Busquets or Javier Mascherano will come through. It’s up to them to decide.”
“If you think I can help Barca I’m happy with life. There must be others who are taking the plunge. There are people who are very capable of coaching Barça.”
Pep Guardiola’s football career to date
Pep Guardiola started as a young talent in Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. He took four years to graduate to the main team, where he played for a whole decade from 1991 to 2001: winning six La Ligas, two Copa del Reys, four Spanish Super Cups and the last edition of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup winner (currently the UEFA Champions League).
In 2001, he left Barcelona after making 384 appearances for them, opting to move to Serie A. There, he initially joined Brescia, moved to Roma and then back to Brescia, before leaving Europe to play for Saudi Arabian club Al Ahli. He retired as a player in 2007 and immediately took over the reins of the Barcelona B side as the manager.
After one season with the second side, Barcelona president Joan Laporta gave him the opportunity to prove himself as the manager of the FC Barcelona main team. In his four seasons with the Catalan side, Guardiola assembled one of the greatest teams in football history. In just his first season in charge, Pep masterminded FC Barcelona to an unprecedented sextuple of trophies, winning six trophies in 2009.
After another three bountiful seasons, Pep Guardiola opted to take a one-year break and then managed Bayern Munich for three seasons. While achieving domestic dominance, he was unable to replicate the same brilliance on the European stage.
The same scenario has panned out in his Manchester City reign so far: dominating the domestic leagues but not having success on a continental level. Despite winning three Premier Leagues, four Carabao Cups, two Community Shields and an FA Cup in his five seasons so far, City are yet to taste European victory. After losing in the Champions League final to Chelsea last season, City will be looking to do one better in the 2021/22 season and win the competition.