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PHOTO: ARCHIVE FCB

Honesty, effort, commitment, teamwork, respect and personal improvement are just a few of the values that the Parliament of Catalonia has highlighted of Josep Guardiola, which they have honoured by presenting him with the Gold Medal on Thursday. His amazing career as both a player and manager have made him one of the outstanding names in football of recent decades.

Record trophies

“I believe a lot in work, effort and talent” said Guardiola when he was presented as the new Barça manager on June 17, 2008, defining to perfection the same values that had led him to so much success as a player. Guardiola does not believe talent can flourish without effort, and doesn’t understand how talent is being so undervalued these days in a game that is more and more about getting results. He has won more titles than any other FCB manager before him and has also produced a team that has enchanted the world.

There can be no questioning a player that won five leagues, one Cup Winners Cup, one European Cup, two Copas del Rey and two European Supercups, but as a coach he has done even better, with a total of 12 titles, even more than the man who until now has always been the yardstick for success at FC Barcelona, Johan Cruyff.

Globally admired philosophy

Guardiola has a tremendous footballing mind and also an incredible capacity for transmitting that knowledge to his players. His ideas are all about holding onto the ball, and combining attacking flair with defensive duties. “I forgive those that don’t do it, but not those that don’t try to do it”, said Guardiola on his first day as manager of the first team.

Another commendable aspect is the way he has always managed to ensure a terrific atmosphere among his squad, which is one of the main reasons why his team has caused such admiration around the footballing planet. Supporters, players, coaches and officials in all corners of the globe have nothing but praise for what Guardiola has done at Barça, which many consider the perfection of the ‘total football’ created by the Dutch in the 1970s and introduced to Barcelona by Johan Cruyff in the early 1990s. Guardiola has clearly been influenced by his different managers from his playing days and has applied that knowledge to a totally new interpretation of what football means. The results speak for themselves, and are now being honoured by the biggest institution in his country, the Parliament of Catalonia.

Individual distinctions

As a player, Josep Guardiola won the Bravo Trophy for the best young footballer of 1992, but it is as a manager that he has really started collecting awards. He has twice been winner of the Miguel Muñoz Trophy for the best coach in the league (2009 and 2010), and also the Don Balón Award (2009), the Onze d’Or (2009), the IFFHS Award (2009) and the LFP Award for best coach (2009).

But there are two awards of particularly special significance to Guardiola. In 2009, he was honoured in his hometown as a ‘Fill Predilecte de Santpedor’ and in 2010 readers of ‘El Periódico de Catalunya’ and viewers of ‘Els Matins’ on TV3 decided he should win the prestigious Catalan of the Year Award.


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