Pep Guardiola has finally admitted that he is likely to make a return to Barcelona in the future. Guardiola is one of the greatest managers in the world. However, he made his name with the Catalan club before moving onto the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
Manchester City have been able to bind him to a contract until 2021, but there is a growing belief that this may be Guardiola’s last contract with the English outfit. After moving from Bayern Munich in 2016, it took Guardiola time to adjust to the Premier League. Since then, however, he has been immensely successful, but the rigours of playing in the English league seem to have taken a toll on his ability to get the team become successful in Europe. According to the Sun, he said:
“I will return to Barcelona sooner or later. But as president, forget about it.
“To be president, you have to know [what you’re doing] and be prepared – to have knowledge that I don’t have.
“I’m trying to be a good coach – that hasn’t gone too badly in this decade. I will return to Barcelona to live, sooner or later.”
Guardiola spent one season as the Barcelona B coach before being appointed as the manager in 2008. He spent four seasons at the Camp Nou and it transformed Barcelona into one of the greatest football team’s ever during this short spell.
Barcelona won three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues, two FIFA Club World Cup, two European Super Cups, two Copa del Reys, and several more titles under his regime. It is highly unlikely that these figures will be bettered by any other manager during such a short spell.
Incredibly, this short reign came to an end courtesy of two major reasons – falling out with the board and burnout.
Guardiola’s management style is so intense that it not only burns out his players over the course of time but it also burns him out. However, his exit from Barcelona was also triggered by a change in management, as the likes of Joan Laporta and Txiki Begiristain left key roles at the club. They were instrumental in the success achieved by Guardiola.
Even though Guardiola has achieved plenty of success even after leaving Barcelona, they have been nowhere close enough to the enormous achievements with the Spanish outfit. It is almost a decade since Guardiola last picked up in the Champions League honour and he has recently struggled to get the club into the final. In fact, the 48-year-old has not reached the semifinals in his last three Champions League campaigns.
Guardiola has always been a manager to keep trying out new things – even on a tactical level. Even staying at Manchester City for the next two years will see him spend more time at the English club than anywhere else in his managerial career. It has been rumoured that Guardiola will be taking yet another sabbatical once the current deal with City runs out in two years.
For the time being, the 48-year-old is not thinking about taking over at Barcelona. City have been quite active in the market even after winning the league title for the second consecutive campaign. Apart from strengthening the full-back positions, City are also targeting a long-term replacement for David Silva, who has announced his departure from the club at the end of the 2019-20 season.