From stunning success across clubs FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City, Josep “Pep” Guardiola is undoubtedly one of the best managers of all-time. In this post, we highlight the best players who played under him.
At the heart of the midfield, Xavi joined partners Iniesta and Busquets as one of the most dynamic midfield trios in football history. A creative visionary, Xavi epitomized the short pass and move philosophy of the tiki-taka. In his 17 year spell for the Catalonia side, he won 8 Spanish titles, 6 Copa Del Rey, and 4 Champions League trophies.
An inspiring leader and hard worker at high back, Carles Puyol captained the Barca side for a decade, winning six La Liga titles and 3 Champions League trophies. On a team of superstars, he may not have been the flashiest player but he was the most committed, spreading a contagious winning attitude.
The Brazilian right-back Dani Alves won 24 different trophies in his 8 years at Nou Camp, including the treble in his first season. Recognized for his technical skills and pace, he’d add to his trophy collection a total of 3 Champions League titles, 6 League titles, 4 Spanish Cups, 5 Spanish Super Cups, and 4 UEFA Supercups.
The comprehensive midfielder has played his entire professional 8-year career with Barcelona. His ability to read the game combined with his pace has contributed to the team’s 3 Champions League titles, 7 La Liga titles, and 6 Spanish cups.
A fruitful scorer in his time with Valencia, David Villa signed to Barcelona for €40 million in 2010. Signed by Guardiola, Villa continued his scoring spree with Barcelona where he bagged 48 goals over 119 appearances. He also won his first Champions League and first and second La Liga titles with the club.
A graduate of Barcelona’s youth academy La Masia, Cesc Fabregas returned to Barcelona from Arsenal to play first-team football in 2011. During his 3-year tenure at Nou Camp, he helped the team win La Liga, a Spanish Cup, and two Spanish Super Cups.
The French striker earned 121 caps with the Catalan side, scoring 50 goals and helping the team win a Champions League, two Spanish league titles, and a Copy del Rey. The combination of Henry’s pace, dribbling and finishing skills made him a defensive nightmare at both international and club level.
Not known for his pace, Gerard Piqué has nonetheless morphed into one of Barcelona’s most versatile defenders given his dependability in the air and sharp passing abilities. In his 456 caps in his nine years with the squad, he’s won the Treble of Champions League, Spanish Cup, and La Liga twice.
The Spanish winger spent seven years with the Catalan side, where he earned 321 appearances and scored 99 goals. During his tenure, he helped the team win Champions League three times along with five La Liga titles, and three Spanish Cups.
Andrés Iniesta is often considered one of the greatest midfielders of all time. The versatile and inventive midfielder played an essential role in the Catalan side that won the treble in 2009 and 2015. His whopping 33 trophies over 16 years in the first team include 9 La Liga titles and 4 Champions League. He received runner-up to Messi in the 2010 Ballon d’Or.
Torching all opposition with his technique, spins, and speed, Lionel Messi has recorded scored a remarkable 387 goals (most ever in La Liga) for the Catalan side, in addition to 150 assists. He’s also tied in a record-setting 5 Ballon d’Ors and led the stripes to 9 domestic league titles, 6 Copa Del Rey, and 4 champions league titles.