20 years on from Guardiola debut
This Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of Pep Guardiola’s debut as a player with the Barça first team, as on December 16th 1990, Pep played against Cadiz at the Nou Camp.
It wasn’t actually his first time with the big boys as he’d played in a friendly
against Banyoles, on May 1st 1989, but the Barça team was made up of reserves and youth team
players. However, with Guillermo Amor injured, Johan Cruyff gave the 19-year-old youngster who was
having a great season with Barça B, his first real break in the game against Cadiz.
It was a great day for Guardiola. Used to playing in front of the relatively small
crowds at the Mini Estadi, he was now given the chance to perform in front of more than 75,000 fans
at the Nou Camp and he has since admitted that his palms were sweating and his pulse was racing as
he waited to go out onto the pitch for the game.
Although it wasn’t a great performance from the team who won 2-0 thanks to
goals from Begiristain and Bakero, Guardiola did impress. He soon began to dominate possession and
show his characteristic passing skills and despite picking up a yellow in the first half, he played
even better in the second.
Determined not to let the team down, he played an important part in the win which left Barça
six points clear of second placed Atletico Madrid. The win also helped the team to the Dream
Team’s fourth League title on the run.
Start of a great career
Guardiola played just four more times for the first team in the 1990/91 season, but won a
place in the team the following year when he played 40 times. He soon went on, of course, to become
a key player during the Golden decade of the 90s and finished his time at the club after making 384