Earlier this week, Manchester City announced that Pep Guardiola would become the club’s new manager following the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season. The 45-year-old Spaniard, presently holding court at Bayern Munich, will replace current City manager Manuel Pellegrini. Much has been made of Guardiola’s managerial brilliance at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but to highlight only his recent achievements is to do a disservice to the man who made 47 appearances for Spain, won Olympic gold, and has been employed in five countries on three continents. Here’s a look back at Pep’s career, dating back to his youth team days at Barcelona’s La Masia academy and his professional debut for Barcelona in 1990.
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Josep "Pep" Guardiola Sala joined Barcelona's La Masia training academy in 1984 at the age of 13. Here, the youngster is depicted in the team photo for the 1987-1988 season.
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Pep shoots at goal in the final match of the 1992 Olympic Games. Spain won the Gold Medal, defeating Poland 3-2 in the final.
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Pep celebrates his first European Cup victory as his Barcelona side defeated Sampdoria 1-0 at Wembley in May 1992.
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Pep and his Barcelona teammates (Albert Ferrer, Hristo Stoitchkov, Ronald Koeman, Jose Maria Bakero, and Gheorghe Hagi) train during the 1993 campaign. The team would go on to win its second straight La Liga title. With names such as those, that feat shouldn't be particularly surprising.
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Guardiola sparkled (and occasionally yelled) for Spain at the World Cup in 1994, but La Furia Roja eventually bowed out in the quarterfinals of the tournament to eventual runners-up Italy.
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With Johan Cruyff having left the club, new manager Bobby Robson guided Barcelona to a cup treble in the 1996-1997 season, winning the Copa del Rey, the Supercopa de España and the European Cup Winners' Cup. Guardiola played a pivotal role in all three campaigns.
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Louis van Gaal took charge at Barcelona in 1997 and promptly named Pep his captain. Guardiola and van Gaal would win back-to-back titles in the 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 seasons.
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Pep the Politician. Guardiola played for the Catalan national team seven times between 1995 and 2005. Shown here casting a symbolic vote in favor of Catalan independence in November 2014, Pep has long been an advocate for secession from Spain.
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Pep in action against Liverpool in the 2001 UEFA Cup Semifinal. Guardiola would play his final game for Barcelona on June 24 of that year and then departed for Italy after 21 years with the Catalan club.
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In September 2001, Guardiola signed for Serie A side Brescia as a replacement for the recently-departed Andrea Pirlo.