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08.05.2008 21:11

From captain to manager

Roger Bogunyà

Josep Guardiola i Sala knows all the secrets of the Camp Nou, La Masia and now the Ciutat Esportiva too. He captained Barça as a player, and will now be managing the team from the start of next season.

Aged 37 years, Josep Guardiola i Sala has lived and breathed FC Barcelona since 1984, when he joined one of the club’s youth squads. He rose up through the ranks and made his first team debut in 1991/92. He would later captain FC Barcelona for many seasons, and was also the central playmaker in the side, wearing the number four shirt and personifying the way Barcelona have always liked to play the ball around.

Under Cruyff, Robson, Van Gaal and Capello

Guardiola_despedida.jpgIn the summer of 2001 Josep Guardiola got a taste of a different world when he moved to Serie A and played for Brescia and Roma, at the latter under Fabio Capello. But the current England manager was not the first big name to coach “the boy from Santpedor”.

In his Barça days, Guardiola worked for Johan Cruyff, Bobby Robson, Louis Van Gaal and Llorenç Serra Ferrer. All were very different coaches, from very different backgrounds and had very different ways of working. But what they all had in common was they put every faith in midfielder Guardiola and the player always responded with the football and leadership skills they required.

Success with Barça B

WEB_01.jpgItaly was not Guardiola’s only foreign destination, he also spent time in Qatar and Mexico. A year after he retired from active duty in 2006, on June 21, 2007 Josep Guardiola went into management at Barça B, a side that is currently having a great season in the Third Division. Having learned the managerial ropes, Guardiola has guided the side to the top of their division, where they will now be tackling the promotion play-offs, hoping to get back into Second Division B.

Barça B have done brilliantly under Pep, winning 24 games, drawing 7 and losing just 5 matches, gathering 76 points in 36 games, and scoring an average 1.9 goals a game. Now the hope is that he can achieve something similar in charge of the first team.
From captain to manager
Used to leadership
Although he has always treated all team mates equally, Josep Guardiola has captained such renowned footballing greats in the past as Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Luis Enrique. And now he will be doing the same thing in the manager’s role, and there can be no doubting that his years as Barça captain were the ideal preparation for the job.

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