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The best Barça in history was the team coached by Pep Guardiola between 2008 and 2012. That four season period marked a before and after in the Club's history as the team won two Champions, two Copas del Rey, three Spanish Super Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and two World Club Cups. 14 trophies and a brand of football that enchanted the world which began 15 years ago today on 8 May 2008 when president Joan Laporta announced that Barça Atlètic coach Pep Guardiola would replace Frank Rijkaard as first team coach.
A new look Barça
Pep Guardiola came to the job of Barça coach as on the back of a single season as Barça Atlètic coach in which he had guided the team to promotion the Second Division B.
The new oversaw an overhaul of the squad with the likes of Ronaldinho and Deco departing and names such as Pedro and Sergio Busquets being promoted to the first team from the B team squad.
Four years of sucess
After a stuttering start to the league campaign which brought a defeat against Numancia and a draw against Racing Santander in his first two league games in charge, Barça turned a corner and never looked back.
In the 2008/09, Pep’s first, the team won the treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League. They then added three more trophies at the start of the new season with the Spanish Super Cup, the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup. This unprecedented run saw the team win all six available trophies and this had never happened before.
In the 2009/10 season, Guardiola’s second in charge, the Liga title was won for the second year in a row, and the twentieth on club history, setting a new record of 99 points in the process. The title was not decided until the very last day, with a 4-0 win against Valladolid at Camp Nou, Barça claiming the league title at home for the first time in front of their own fans since 1993/94.
In 2010/11 the team won the Spanish Super Cup, the league and the Champions League, beating Manchester United once again in the final as they had done in 2009. The third league title in a row contained a memorable 5-0 win over Real Madrid at Spotify Camp Nou.
In his fourth and final season in charge they won the Spanish Super Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, the Club World Cup and the Copa del Rey. After a Champions League semi-final defeat against Chelsea, Guardiola announced in a press conference that he would be leaving at the end of the season.
On 15 May 2012, in the derby against Espanyol at Spotify Camp Nou, the architect of the best Barça in history who had won 14 out of a possible 19 trophies, bid the crowd farewell in his final game as coach of the first team.
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