It is still way too early to recognise the impact that Pep Guardiola has had as a football manager. But just looking at his haul of trophies during his four year tenure at Barcelona leaves some impression of how superb he has been.
In total he has won 3 La Liga titles, 1 Copa Del Rey (Which could become 2 when as they play Athletico Bilbao on 25th May), 2 Champions League titles, 2 Uefa Super Cups and 2 Fifa World Club Cups all within 48 short months, but this only tells half the story.
Guardiola's Barcelona have played such a cohesive and wondrous brand of football that many football critics and scholars have labeled his team the best ever assembled. Better than Brail in 1970, Manchester United in 1999, Holland in 1974, Hungary in 1954 and even Real Madrid in the 1950s. But Guardiola has now decided that it is time for him to call it quits at the Catalan club, citing exhaustion and fatigue as his excuses.
He will be replaced at the end of the season by his assistant Tito Vilanova, who despite his lack of managerial experience, is deemed the perfect candidate as he has worked under Guardiola for his entire reign and intrinsically knows the Barcelona style of play.
This decision was a shock for many but it does make sense. When Liverpool looked to replace their greatest ever manager, Bill Shankley, in 1974 they hired his assistant Bob Paisley who would go on to lead the team to a decade's worth of success that has only been equalled by Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United.
The departure of Guardiola had been expected for a while. Pep has only ever signed one year rolling contracts with Barcelona and many insiders noted how the former midfielder was talking about his reign coming to an end. But he lives behind a dynasty that is unrivalled in terms of quality and success.
So good luck to Tito. But with players like Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas in his team, I don't think he's going to need it.
Article by Gregory Wakeman