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20.01.2010 14:23

Guardiola’s ten greatest moments

David Puig

The year and a half that Guardiola has enjoyed in charge of the team have been an unforgettable time -in just over 18 months at the helm, he has guided the team to the record 6 titles and earned the admiration and respect of the footballing world.

In his 18 months in charge, Pep Guardiola has lived some magic moments - here are just 10 of them!

1. Contract signing as first team coach

On June 5th 2008 Josep Guardiola signed on the dotted line as the new first team coach, taking over from Frank Rijkaard from June 30th.Right then, the main concern for Guardiola, who was still the Barca Atletic boss, was to ensure promotion with the play off game against Barbastro coming up.

2. “We’ll keep on fighting”

3_xpresentacio_camp_noux.jpgOn August 16th 2008 during the presentation of the team at the Nou Camp, Guardiola promised: “I don’t know if we will win, but I give you my word that we will try our very best – we’ll keep on fighting, so fasten your safety belts and get ready for the ride!”

3. “The Tourmalet” first test of fire

The new boss and his team faced a number of tests over the first few months, with the hardest undoubtedly the series of games against the league’s top teams - Seville, Valencia, Real Madrid and Villarreal -dubbed “the Tourmalet”. The team came through with flying colours and threw down the gauntlet to their closest rivals.

4. The Santiago Bernabéu kneels down to the Champions

4_xbernabeux.jpg2nd May 2009 will go down in the club’s history as the day the Santiago Bernabéu accepted Barca as the best team in Spain. The historic 2-6 thrashing virtually wrapped up the league title for Guardiola’s men and inflicted the most painful of defeats on the eternal rival, something that the Barca fans will never forget

5. Stamford Bridge

The image of Josep Guardiola celebrating Iniesta’s winning strike at Stamford Bridge has to take pride of place in the manager’s photo album. What a moment that was –the 92nd minute of a goalless Champions League Semi-final and Iniesta fires Barca into another European Final!

6. The Spanish Cup –the first leg of the treble

7_xchampionsx.jpgThe Spanish Cup may not have been the most important title of the season, but it was the first Guardiola won with his team after a thrilling 4-1 win over Bilbao at the Mestalla.

7. The player pay tribute to Guardiola

Villarreal’s win over Real Madrid on May 16th confirmed that the league title was Barca’s even before they played Mallorca at the Ono Estadi. A week later at the Nou Camp following the game against Osasuna, the team celebrated their double title winning season in front of their own fans. The image of Guardiola being lifted up by his players was a wonderful image and demonstration of the appreciation the squad had for the manager’s fantastic work.

8. Cup, League... and Champions League. An historic treble.

10_xtripletx.jpgThe Champions league gave us the best possible final with the reigning Champions facing the exciting new challengers and it was Guardiola’s Barca who saw off Sir Alex’s United thanks to goals from Messi and Eto’o on that memorable night in Rome to seal an historic treble. But the story didn’t end there of course…….

9. Two titles out of two to start the new season

Barca’s fantastic run didn’t finish in Rome, as they took the first two titles of the 2009-10 season. Guardiola had insisted that it would be impossible to match the success of the 2008-09 campaign, but his players did their best to prove him wrong taking the Spanish and European Super Cups to make it 5 out of 5, surely that had to be the end of the story!

10. Guardiola’s tears

11_xabu_dhabix.JPGNo it wasn’t ! Guardiola still had another card up his sleeve taking the team to their first ever World Club Cup title. Barca beat Estudiantes 2-1 in Abu Dhabi to make it six titles in just over six months, the first team to ever win so much. It was all too much for the boss, who just couldn’t hold back the tears at the end of the game as the full magnitude of his and his team’s achievements hit home.
Guardiola’s ten greatest moments
Impeccable record with Barça Atlètic
Before he set out on his winning time with the first team, Guardiola had already impressed with his tinme in charge of the reserves team - Barça Atlètic. In his first season they were proclaimed Champions of the third division and he ensured promotion with their wins over Castillo and Barbastre in the playoffs. Since his debut with the reserves at Premia until last week’s elimination at the hands of Seville, Pep won every single competition his team were entered in – what a record!

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