Josep “Pep” Guardiola i Sala
born 18 January 1971) is a Spanish football manager and player. Guardiola has managed Barcelona for four years and has broken numerous records. On 27 April 2012, he announced that he will not be renewing his contract at the end of the 2011–12 season. As a player, Guardiola played as a defensive midfielder and spent the majority of his playing career with FC Barcelona. He was part of Johan Cruyff‘s “dream team” that won Barcelona’s first European Cup. He also played for Brescia and Roma in Italy; Al-Ahli in Qatar; and for Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico while attending managing school. While playing in Italy, he served a four-month ban for a positive drug test although he was cleared of wrongdoing twice on appeal in 2009 before the Courts of Justice of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Federal Anti-Doping Courts of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). As an international, he played for Spain, and in friendly matches for Catalonia.
After retiring as a player, Guardiola became coach of FC Barcelona B. On 8 May 2008, Barcelona President Joan Laporta announced that Guardiola would succeed Frank Rijkaard as the first team manager. He signed his contract on 5 June 2008. In his first season as manager, Barcelona won the treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the Champions League. In doing so, Guardiola became the youngest UEFA Champions League-winning manager ever. The following season, Guardiola and Barcelona won the Supercopa de España, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup, bringing the manager’s tally to the maximum of six trophies in six competitions in one year, thus completing the first ever sextuple.
On 8 September 2011, Guardiola was awarded the Catalan parliament’s Gold Medal, the highest honour. On 9 January 2012, Guardiola received the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award, with 42% of the votes, ahead of Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson, who received 16%, and José Mourinho, coach of Real Madrid, who had 12%.
On 27 April 2012, Guardiola announced he would quit as Barcelona manager on 30 June, after achieving 13 titles in four years at charge of the club. He stated he was experiencing severe physical and mental stress, and he left the team’s management to his second-in-charge and good friend Tito Vilanova.