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Josep Guardiola et pictures
Josep "Pep" Guardiola (born 18 January 1971 in Santpedor, Barcelona, Catalonia), is a Spanish football manager and former player. Guardiola played as a defensive midfielder and spent the majority of his playing career with FC Barcelona, whom he currently manages. He was part of Johan Cruyff's dream team that won Barcelona's first European Cup. Guardiola also played for Brescia Calcio and A.S. 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 on appeal by Michel Platini as President of UEFA. As an international, he played for Spain and 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 against Athletic Club Bilbao, the UEFA Super Cup against Shakhtar Donetsk, and the FIFA Club World Cup against Estudiantes, bringing the manager's tally to the maximum of six trophies in six competitions in one year, thus completing the first ever sextuple. He is considered by some critics one of the world's best football managers.
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