After making his name as a key player in Johan Cruyff's 'Dream Team' of the 90s, Pep Guardiola, as manager, has assembled a Barcelona team that looks even better. Where once there was Romário, Michael Laudrup and Hristo Stoichkov, now there is Leo Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Xavi.
In 11 illustrious seasons as a Barcelona player after his debut in 1990, Guardiola won 16 trophies. As manager, however, he has won 13 from a possible 16 in under four years, a phenomenal record that has already seen him overtake Cruyff as the most successful manager in Barcelona's history.
After enrolling at Barcelona's famous La Masía youth academy aged 13, Guardiola grew up playing football the Barcelona way. A graceful ball-playing defensive midfielder, he was crucial to the club's success and became one of the world's most acclaimed players. He made well over well over 300 appearances for Barcelona, becoming captain in 1997, and won 47 caps for Spain.
As manager, Guardiola has taken his success to another level. He was appointed in 2008 to replace Frank Rijkaard, and his impact was immediate. In his first season in charge, Barcelona won every trophy possible as they recorded a historic sextuple. It set the tone for what was to follow.
Guardiola has instilled a sense of identity, passion and family at Barcelona that was lacking under Rijkaard. He has combined an outstandingly gifted collection of players to devastating effect, and won more Clásicos against Real Madrid than any other Barcelona manager in history.
His side's glorious playing style is unrivalled in modern football. Intricate possession play and fluid attacking movement have been Barcelona's methods for years, but never before have they been so effective. Pep Guardiola has created arguably the greatest side of all time, and now Icons are offering you the chance to own fantastic products signed by the man himself.