Premier League Winning Champions League, signing Messi…
Pep Guardiola has signed a contract renewal at Manchester City that will take him to a total of seven seasons at the club, the same as the sum of his spells with Barcelona and Bayern Munich combined.
The new deal will run until 2023 and provides more proof that, in Manchester, he has found a home for himself.
Guardiola is into his fifth season at the Etihad Stadium, which is already his longest stay in a job, but the new chapter poses new challenges.
After a year of acclimatisation, Guardiola did in England what he had done in Spain and Germany, leading City to Premier League titles in 2018 and 2019. The ‘Cityzens’ racked up huge tallies, hitting 100 and 98 points in their title-winning years. Only an opponent as good as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were able to break their stranglehold on the title, accumulating 99 points to win their first league title in 30 years.
City haven’t started 2020/21 very well. It has been Guardiola’s worst start to a league campaign in his coaching career. But Pep’s renewal, Ferran Torres’ Spain form and Ruben Dias’ improvements give their fans reasons to believe they can win the title again, particularly with Liverpool having so many injuries.
The Catalan has always said that the Champions League isn’t an obsession, but leading City to their first ever win in the competition is something he is yet to do, despite having won everything in England. With the 2019/20 Premier League lost in February, last season appeared to be the perfect opportunity to do just that, but City fell to Lyon in a surprise quarter-final elimination.
With Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and David Silva now gone, only Sergio Aguero remains from the side’s spine over the last decade.
Guardiola has been tasked with seeing in a new cycle at the Etihad with Kevin de Bruyne at the centre of it all. Ferran and Phil Foden will be other important cogs.
Guardiola’s renewal was announced just one day after Messi said that he was “tired of always being the problem at Barcelona,” and City were interested in signing him last summer.
Should they sign the Argentine, City would be elevated to another level. Guardiola has always said that he’d like to see Messi retire at Barcelona, but it’s hard to think that he’d turn down the chance to coach him again.