Pep Guardiola had been at Barcelona since the age of 13 and, having risen through the youth ranks, was given his first team break by Johan Cruyff.
He became a key component of the 1992 European Cup winning side and would become captain of the team until he left Barcelona in 2001.
After retiring from playing, Guardiola became coach of the Barcelona B team before being asked to step up to the senior side after Rijkaard’s departure.
Guardiola cleared out a number of the team’s big names and rebuilt a side around the young Spanish players, as well as another product of the Barcelona youth system, the brilliant Argentine Lio Messi.
Continuing with the relentless passing and high pressing style of his predecessors, in his first season in charge Guardiola’s Barcelona won an unprecedented six titles, including La Liga and the club’s third Champions League title.
The Catalan had learned from the Dutch masters, and now his Barcelona players will hope that a Catalan version of Total Football will help Spain become world champions in Johannesburg.