Josep Guardiola i Sala was born at Santpedor (Barcelona) on 18 January 1971. After a long and successful playing career and a brilliant season in charge of Barça B, in the summer of 2008 he took over as first team coach at the club.
After having been one of the most important players in Barça’s history, Josep Guardiola is
the new coach for the 2008/09 season, replacing Frank Rijkaard after two seasons with no major
Previously he was coach of FC Barcelona’s reserves, tasked with taking the side back into the Third Division after relegation the previous season. That he did with impressive authority: 28 victories, 9 draws and 5 defeats. In the final play-offs his side saw off Castillo and Barbastre with an overall balance of 9 goals in favour and none against.
Under Guardiola, Barça ‘B’ didn’t lose a single game at home and developed a playing style characterised by defensive pressure, playing wide and using set pieces. Guardiola’s young players became more flexible and intense with a spirit of playing for the team. This ability to play a more all-round game was also seen in the system used, which could be switched from 3-4-3 to 4-3-3 quite easily as a flexible response to the challenges posed by any rival.
Guardiola is the fifteenth Catalan to be FC Barcelona’s first team coach.
Before going into management, Guardiola was a class footballer who played almost all his career at FC Barcelona before going on to spells in Italy, Qatar and Mexico. He was at the Catalan club from when he joined its youth academy in 1984 until he left for Italy.
Among the trophies he won at Barça are six leagues (1990-91, 91-92, 92-93, 93-94, 97-98 and 98-99), a European Cup (91-92), a Cup Winners’ Cup (96-97) and two King’s Cups (96-97 and 97-98). During all this time Guardiola was the team’s organiser in his traditional number 4 shirt.
In Italy’s Serie A he made his debut with Brescia in the 2001-02 season, followed by a year with Roma before going back to Lombardy. Later on he went further afield to Al-Ahly in Qatar for two seasons (2003-04 and 2004-05) and Dorados de Sinaloa (Mexico), where he hung up his boots for the final time in 2006.
2008/09 Champions League
2008/09 Copa del Rey