HE enjoyed a glittering and remarkably successful reign as manager of FC Barcelona, but Pep Guardiola had to come through some dark times in order to get there.
In this extract – which is taken taken from my book, Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World – I tell that story, and reveal how it influenced the man who would become head coach of arguably the best club side of all time.
There was the injury which robbed Guardiola of 14 months of his playing career at the Camp Nou and false accusations of nandrolone use while in Italy, after he walked away from his beloved Barca feeling undervalued by those who ran the club at the time.
I explain how Guardiola went on to play in Qatar and Mexico, but turned down a move to English side Wigan Athletic and a chance to experience first-hand a style of football which he had always respected.
His return to the Camp Nou as coach of Barca B, and his success in that post paved the way for Guardiola to take over the first team and lead them to a period of unprecedented success.