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Josep "Pep" Guardiola

Josep "Pep" Guardiola
PLACE OF BIRTH: Santpedor, Spain
DATE OF BIRTH: 18th January 1971
POSITION: Midfielder
DEBUT: 16/12/1990
Seasons at the club: 1990-2001
Games played: 472
Goals scored: 10

1 European Cup (1991/92)
1 Cup Winners Cup (1996/97)
2 European Super Cups (1992 and 1997)
6 Leagues (1990/91, 91/92, 92/93, 93/94, 97/98 and 98/99)
2 Copa del Rey (1996/97 and 97/98)
4 Spanish Super Cups (1991, 1992, 1994 and 1996)
3 Copes de Catalunya

CLUBS: Gimnastic Manresa, FC Barcelona B (1984), FC Barcelona (1990-2001), Brescia (2001-02, 2003), As Roma (2002-03), Al Ahly (2003-04)

Guardiola came through the Barça youth ranks (6 years) and stayed with the club for eleven years, winning the Primera División title six times and the European Champion Clubs' Cup once. Guardiola was groomed to run the Barcelona side shortly after joining the youth ranks of the club. After being handed his debut by Johan Cruyff in 1990 he went on to become the vital piece of the talented and successful Dream Team that won the European Cup in 1992 and four successive Spanish league titles.

He played just in front of the back four, linking the play between Ronald Koeman at the back, through to Michael Laudrup and Hristo Stoichkov further forward. Cruyff gave him the first chance to show his talent and he immediately became one of the most important parts of the "Dream Team" being the brain, the soul and the mouth of Barça and by the age of 20, he was the undisputed leader of Barça.

He played many roles by being a great organizer, distributing the play, keeping hold of the ball and displaying the face of the team both in the good and bad situations. Later in his Barça career, he was the player who supplied the passes for devastating Brazilian forward Romario. Both of them had developed a system of signals worked out so Guardiola would know when, and exactly where, to supply the pass.

He also played alongside Ronaldo in his single year at the Nou Camp and under Louis van Gaal, where he was the key component in the Dutch coach's ultimately doomed attempt to play his own unique brand of "total football." It was under the helm of Louis van Gaal, that Pep was awarded with the captain’s band in 1997.

Consequently, he won a total of six league titles with Barcelona, as well as the European Cup Winners' Cup, two Spanish Cups, two European Super Cups and four Spanish Super Cups.

Capped over 40 times by Spain, a knee injury erased any lingering doubt that he may make his country\\\'s 2002 FIFA World Cup, a harsh blow to a player who also sat out the 1998 World Cup through injury. He did guide Spain to the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics which was hosted by Barcelona.

In April of 2001, Guardiola decided to quit Barcelona at the end of the season after seventeen years with the Catalans. He will forever be remembered in the hearts of the fans as one of their favorite sons who represented the Cules with pride and honor.

Guardiola returned to the club to coach the Barcelona Youth team, Barca B in 2007-2008. Pep lead the team to promotion and then replaced Frank Rijkaard as the current manager of FC Barcelona for the 2008-2009 season.

** Much thanks to Miss Jade as well from http://www.pepguardiola.cj