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13.05.2009 23:55

First of the Guardiola era

Anna Segura

With the Copa del Rey title won tonight, Josep Guardiola has won the first title of his managerial career. The Barça manager couldn’t have asked for a better first year on the bench at Barça, winning the Copa del Rey after eleven years of failures.

Josep Guardiola has got off to a fantastic start in his first year as FCB manager. The young coach has already won his first major title, the Copa del Rey, something no other Barça manager had achieved for eleven years.

Three cups in total

GUARDIOLA_A_LA_FINAL_DE_COPA_x1997x003.jpgThis might be the first time he has collected the trophy in his role as manager, but as a player Guardiola also won it twice with Barça. His first win was in the 1996/97 season, when Barça won the final at the Santiago Bernabéu against Betis, 3-2. The club retained the trophy a year later, this time beating Mallorca on penalties. Guardiola missed the game that night through injury.

14 first time winners

No fewer than 14 members of the first team squad have won their first honours as Barça players. These are Pinto, Piqué, Henry, Keita, Milito, Alves, Hleb, Abidal, Cáceres, Bojan, Touré, Pedro, Sergio Busquets and Víctor Sánchez. For seven of these, it was the first time they had ever won a title as professionals, namely Bojan, Pedro, Sergio Busquets, Víctor Sánchez, Pinto, Touré and Martín Cáceres.

The experts

But there are seven players in the squad that have won a cup before. Eto'o won the Copa del Rey with Mallorca in 2002/03, Milito with Zaragoza in 2003/04, and Alves was the most recent winner, doing so with Sevilla in 2006/07.

Another four players have won cup titles, but in other countries. Henry won the FA Cup with Arsenal, Gudjohnsen won in Holland with PSV, Keita in France with Lorient, and Sylvinho in Brazil with Corinthians. All have won one title, apart from Henry who won the English cup no fewer than three times.
First of the Guardiola era
Third win this year
The 4-1 win in Valencia was FC Barcelona’s third over Athletic Club this season, In their league meetings, the Catalans beat the Basques 1-0 at San Mamés and 2-0 at the Camp Nou.

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