Pep Guardiola is one of the finest managerial minds in football, of that there is no doubt. The Catalan’s record at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City makes him deserving of a standing alongside the very best.
It is, however, impossible to ignore the fact that a Champions League crown has only been captured while working with the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta at Camp Nou. European glory has proved elusive in Germany and England.
Guardiola will be tired of hearing about how he has failed to land the most prestigious prize in European football since 2011, with that professional itch proving difficult to scratch. Failure on his part has not been for a lack of trying.
The Sky Blues are the current favorites to take the title this year. With City safely through to the last 16 once more, football betting at Space Casino has last season’s beaten finalists at +220 to bring their long wait for continental glory to a close in 2022.
If the Premier League title holders were to emerge victorious, adding another feather to Guardiola’s cap, then their decorated coach would join an elite group of bosses to have collected that particular crown with two different clubs.
The five men to have achieved that feat
The legendary Austrian was the first man to guide two teams to the ultimate prize back in the days when only championship-winning teams took part in the European Cup. The first of his successes came with Dutch outfit Feyenoord in 1970, when Celtic were edged out at San Siro, before repeating the trick when seeing off a Juventus side that included Michel Platini and Paolo Rossi with Hamburg in 1983.
A poster boy for German coaching long before Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Ralf Rangnick burst onto the scene. Hitzfeld pieced together a star-studded side at Borussia Dortmund that claimed a Champions League crown in 1997, while penalty shootout joy with Bayern Munich in 2001 allowed him to overcome Valencia.
— Inter (@Inter_en) January 26, 2018
A man who takes great delight in reminding everyone of what he has achieved in the management game announced himself to the world while at Porto. He guided them to European glory in 2004, a year after winning the UEFA Cup, before spreading his wings. Inter were to deliver the Portuguese a second winners’ medal, as part of a historic treble in 2010, with Bayern Munich seen off 2-0 in a final at Santiago Bernabeu.
The second German on a notable list, and a record-breaking one at that. Heynckes made history when overseeing a remarkable winning run at Bayern Munich in 2018, but five years prior to that he guided the Bundesliga giants to a Champions League final triumph over domestic rivals Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. Turning the club back even further and Heynckes was the man to bring Real Madrid’s 32-year wait for a seventh European Cup to a close in 1998.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) May 24, 2021
The most recent addition to a rather short list, with the much-traveled Italian one of only seven men – a standing he shares with Guardiola – to have won the European Cup as a player and coach. His first as a manager came with AC Milan in 2003, in a shootout win over Juventus at Old Trafford, while the second saw a Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Real Madrid record La Decima in 2014.