Pep Guardiola: Recapping the Barcelona Manager's Career in 10 Photos

Andrew JordanSenior Writer IApril 26, 2012

Pep Guardiola: Recapping the Barcelona Manager's Career in 10 Photos

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    When Pep Guardiola took over at Barcelona in 2008, he found himself with the opportunity to achieve greatness with one of the best clubs in Europe.

    In the four years since he became Barca's manager, he has led the side that he once played for to unprecedented heights. With 13 trophies captured since Guardiola's promotion from Barcelona B, it is easy to say that he led this club to heights that no other side in the history of club football has ever achieved.

    But this season has not gone as well for Barcelona. The club fell out of contention for both La Liga and the Champions League within a week due to some underwhelming performances, causing many critics to believe that the 'golden era' that Barca have gone through could now be ending.

    That claim could now be true because of recent reports that have suggested that Guardiola will step down from the club this summer.

    If this is the end for Guardiola, he certainly will leave as not only one of the greatest managers in Barcelona's history, but also that of a manager that has forever changed modern football.

    Guardiola has influenced Barcelona in many ways. Here are 10 photos that will be remembered from his time managing the club.

Taking the Job

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    After Frank Rijkaard left Barcelona, Guardiola was promoted from Barcelona B and had to help redevelop the entire concept of the team.

    It was during this summer that Ronaldinho left Barcelona to join AC Milan and it was rumored that Samuel Eto'o would also leave for a new club, though he would stay on with Barca for another year.

Employing His Own Brand of Football

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    Barcelona had previously used a 4-3-3 under Rijkaard that saw Ronaldinho being the most influential player on the pitch. But Guardiola changed that style.

    Guardiola implemented a more disciplined side that focuses on possessing the ball for as long as possible, which went on to work with tremendous effect.

    The style of tiki-taka that Barcelona possessed under Guardiola is the most effective new style of football created in the 21st century.

Knocking out Chelsea from the Champions League

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    Barcelona had already secured La Liga and the Copa del Rey when they traveled to Stamford Bridge in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal.

    Barcelona fell behind early on a goal from Michael Essien and were not helped when Eric Abidal was sent off. But a stoppage time goal from Andres Iniesta secured Barcelona's trip to the Champions League final with a chance of securing the first ever treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

First Champions League Title

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    Guardiola's Barcelona side went into a heavily hyped Champions League final against Manchester United.

    Even though the odds were against them going into the match, Barcelona completely dominated and earned a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Eto'o and Lionel Messi.

    This completed Barcelona's treble and secured a claim that this Barcelona side was one of the greatest footballing sides in history.

The Sextuple

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    No side in football history had ever secured a sextuple. That is until Barcelona did so in 2009.

    Following their treble in the 2008-09 season, Barca won the Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup to raise their trophy count to six.

    To finish off the season, Messi won his first world player of the year award, a title that the Argentine star has still held down to the present.

Problems with Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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    Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the first major transfer that Guardiola made as Barca's manager, and the Swedish striker was not able to fulfill expectations.

    Ibrahimovic was fantastic at the start of the season, even scoring the winning goal against Real Madrid in the first matchup between the two sides since Madrid had their massive summer spending spree.

    But towards the end of the season, Ibrahimovic found himself out of favor more often at the club and was eventually put on loan to AC Milan, who would later buy the player.

    Since this time, we learned that Ibrahimovic threatened to beat up Guardiola if he didn't move away from the club.

Elimination from the Champions League to Inter Milan

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    It was by no means pretty to watch, but Barcelona found themselves eliminated from the Champions League thanks to a strong defensive performance by Inter Milan in the second leg of their semifinal matchup.

    This match ended Barcelona's attempt to win the Champions League in consecutive years.

Second Champions League Title

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    Barcelona rebuilt themselves without Ibrahimovic for the 2010-11 season, which saw the club have another successful year.

    After winning La Liga, Barcelona defeated Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals before winning the final 3-1 against Man United at Wembley.

Become World Champions. Claim Is That Barca Are the Best Ever

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    Barcelona went on to win the Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup alongside their La Liga and Champions League trophies from the beginning of the year.

    That FIFA Club World Cup trophy was completed with a 5-0 thrashing of Santos, which secured a belief held by many that this was the greatest club football side ever assembled.

Elimination from La Liga and the Champions League

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    The Guardiola and Barcelona marriage came to an end with Barca's elimination from the Champions League to Chelsea and their first loss at the Camp Nou to Real Madrid in Guardiola's tenure.

    Guardiola will now finish out the season with Barca and try to help them win the Copa del Rey, which would be Guardiola's 14th trophy with Barcelona as a manager.

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