From captain to manager
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
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
Italy 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.