LifeBogger presents the Full Story of a Football Manager who is best known by the Nickname ‘Pep‘.
Our version of Pep Guardiola’s Biography brings to you a full account of notable events from his boyhood days right until when he became famous.
The analysis of Pep’s Bio involves his life story before fame, family life and many OFF and ON-Pitch little-known facts about him.
No doubt, he is not just known as one of the best players of his generation. We regard Pep as one of the most celebrated football managers in this modern era. Now, let’s tell you about the Manager’s Bio.
Pep Guardiola Childhood Story – Early Life and Family Background:
For Biography starters, his full names are Josep “Pep” Guardiola Sala.
The Spanish manager was born in Santpedor, Spain on January 18th, 1971, to his father, Valentí Guardiola, a retired bricklayer, and mother, Dolors Sala Guardiola, a salesperson.
Thou he wasn’t both into riches as some of his contemporaries. It was football that consumed him from the early onset.
Already from an early age, Guardiola formed the daily habit of leaving home to play football for hours on a square-like football field next to his father’s house.
As his dad puts it, ‘There was always a sure-fire way to make him happy at Christmas and that was to give him a football as a present.
He was always with a ball at his feet. Everywhere he went, he went with a football says Sir Valentí Guardiola.’
Pep Guardiola Parents:
Guardiola’s parents, Valenti and Dolors, still live in Santpedor. They vowed never to leave the sleepy village that helped their son ‘Pep’ in starting his career.
Both parties are always seen walking together in the county’s small Municipality that dots the Barcelona countryside.
To date, Santpedor still has a worldwide recognition that is bestowed upon its most famous son ‘Pep’. Unlike his mother, Pep’s dad loves to get the media’s attention.
Mr and Mrs Guardiola have placed their pride in their son’s achievements, which is evident in the photographs and mementoes that decorate the neat family home.
His dad is not just known to be very vocal when it comes to defending his son. He enjoys expressing controversial views on football matters.
Just days after Pep Guardiola’s big move to the Premier League was confirmed, his dad once slammed English football as being “boring”.
Valenti Guardiola said it was little more than constant “long balls and running”.
Valenti also said: “I have to confess that English football is not my cup of tea. It’s a lot of long balls and running.
I prefer the football my son likes to practise – lots of passing, then a surprise attack when a loophole opens up.”
Retired bricklayer Valenti Guardiola was once a workaholic.
He kept working 10 hours a day from the age of 14 on building sites and didn’t stop until I was 66. He never had time to play football as his son ‘Pep’ did.
Pep Guardiola Brother:
Guardiola has two older sisters and a younger brother, Pere, who is widely known as one of the best football agents in the world.
Pere Guardiola has made a name for himself in the football agent business. He has Luis Suarez as his number one client. Pep also has two sisters named Olga and Francesca.
Pep is currently married to Cristina Serra. Pep had these children named Marius, Maria and Valentine before he finally tied the knot of marriage in 2014.
Their wedding was a discreet ceremony held in Catalonia. It was attended by only the best of friends.
Pep Guardiola Biography – He began his Football Career as a Ballboy:
Guardiola began his path to football greatness as a Nou Camp ballboy master.
He was part of Barca’s youth structure when Venables arrived as manager back in 1984, and had already shown signs of developing his knowledge of the game.
The attached picture below shows a 14-year-old young Pep celebrating with the former England boss after he had steered the club to the Spanish title in 1985.
Friends from his childhood have revealed that even at such a young age, Guardiola was developing the single-mindedness and drive that has turned him into the world’s most famous football manager.
This was a year after he started his football career at the Barcelona youth academy.
Pep Guardiola Early Football Career:
Many refer to him as a ballboy master who turned to a professional footballer and great football manager.
Pep Guardiola dropped his ball boy duties a year after starting his football career at the Barcelona youth academy.
He started his playing career at Barcelona youth academy at the age of 13.
Playing as a defender, Guardiola was noticed by the head coach of the first team Johan Cruyff and introduced into the senior squad at the age of 20.
He became a pivotal defender in the Catalan Dream team of the 1990s that claimed 6 La Liga titles, 4 Spain Super cups, 1 European Cup, 1 UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup and 2 UEFA Super Cups.
Overall he appeared in 479 matches for the team in 12 seasons and was perceived as one of the most reliable defensive midfielders of his time.
He played with big names such as Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, Xavi Hernández, Carles Puyol, Rivaldo Vítor Borba Ferreira and the famous Luis Enrique, who is the current Barcelona Coach at the time of writing.
Early Relationship with Jose Mourinho:
He had a good relationship with his Ex-manager Jose Mourinho when he was still a player at FC Barcelona.
A POINT TO NOTE: Jose Mourinho, who was a former assistant coach of Barcelona, coached Pep.
It is also pertinent to note that Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique were teammates at Bârca for five years, from 1996 to 2001. Attached is proof below;
Pep Guardiola retired as a player when his contract with Qatari club Al-Ahli finished in June 2005. He began taking coaching courses the same month after retirement.
Pep Guardiola Biography – His first Barca exit wasn’t a happy one:
When Guardiola leaves Bayern, he will be given the praise he deserves, just as he was when he left Barcelona in 2012.
The club virtually held a month of mourning when the coach let them know he was going, with the entire squad plus the president, sporting director, and board members attending his press conference.
It was followed up with a host of tribute videos and a farewell speech in front of a packed Camp Nou crowd. The way it should be when a legend leaves, you could argue.
It wasn’t always that way. When Guardiola left Bârca as a player in 2001, he did it through the back door, incognito.
One April afternoon he held a meeting with then-president Joan Gaspart to tell him he was leaving. “When? Right now?!” was the shocked response.
Guardiola confirmed, then told Gaspart he intended to hold a press conference the next day, asking the president to accompany him.
As it turned out, Gaspart had already booked a holiday to Switzerland, which he deemed impossible to reschedule, and thus didn’t attend.
Guardiola, the winner of six league titles and Barcelona’s first-ever European Cup, broke the news to the media alone.
A farewell unfitting of a player who had done so much for the institution, it was the exact opposite of the kind you would see in England, a country Pep admired even then.
“I don’t know where I’ll play yet, but I have a passion for English teams,” Guardiola told the press that day in 2001. “They’re honest. I remember the first time I played at Old Trafford. It was incredible”.
His dream to play for Manchester United was cut short by a sudden change of mind. Pep Guardiola made a move to a smaller Italian club side, Brescia Calcio.
Pep Guardiola Biography Facts – Last Club as a player:
Believe it or not, but the last club Guardiola played for was the Mexican side Club Social Deportivo Dorados de Sinaloa.
Pep joined the Mexican outfit at the age of 34 and played there for just about half a year before retiring from professional football as a player.
Pep Guardiola was recruited to the club by Spanish coach Juanma Lillo. It was a move that kind of made sense since he was in a managerial school in Mexico.
Managerial Career Start:
Guardiola’s career as a manager formally started at Bârca B in 2007, but in reality, he already had some experience coaching a professional team. His managerial career with the Barcelona senior team started in 2008.
During his 4-season stint in Barca, Guardiola did not only collect 14 titles but also developed a particular playing style that amazed football fans throughout the world.
One of those styles involves him not conducting one-on-one interviews but only press conferences.
After the 2011/2012 season, Guardiola resigned from Barcelona and claimed he would have a sabbatical year in New York City.
Later on, it was revealed he would take the reigns at Bayern Munich, starting from the summer of 2013.
Guardiola won the Bundesliga title, DFB-Pokal title, as well as UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup titles in his very first season with Bayern.
Pep Guardiola Bio – Love For Fashion and Arts:
On the sideline, Guardiola is known for wearing perfectly cut slim suits. (Sometimes too slim).
No one has ever been able to find out where Guardiola gets his suits from, so if you’re reading this, Pep, please get in touch.
He is never afraid of a pop of colour. While the shirt-and-tie-under-a-bright-red-V-neck ensemble is a staple of European football managers (i.e., Arsène Wenger, former Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood), Guardiola puts them all to shame.
His clothing, like the one below, has made headlines in the past. Pep Guardiola was once labelled as the most fashionable man in football, according to the Spanish media.
We have credited his wife, Christina, as a key influence behind his fashionable lifestyle.
Speaking of clothes, Guardiola’s relationship with wife Cristina Serra grew around the latter’s family clothes shop in Manresa, in Spain’s northeast.
Attending German Beer Festivals:
One of Pep’s greatest hobbies is attending beer festivals. The Oktoberfest beer festival is his favourite.
This is a two-week beer festival held each year in Munich. It occurs during late September and early October.
It is attended by six million people each year and has inspired numerous similar events using the name Oktoberfest in Germany and around the world, many of which were founded by German immigrants or their descendants.
His love for beer festivals made him approve a certain beer advert for his former FC Bayern Munich team.
Pep Guardiola Books:
Guardiola has authored a good number of books sold on Amazon, among which are “The hell out of tiki-taka and the evolution”.
The evolution talks about the challenges in football coaching careers and depicts to readers how he surmounted them to become a successful world football coach.
A number of excellent books on Guardiola have been released in recent years, ranging from biographies to an inside account of his time at Bayern penned by Martí Perarnau. But did you know that Pep himself is also an author?
In 2001, he released the book La meva gent, el meu futbol (my people, my football) in conjunction with Lu Martin and Miguel Rico, two of Spain’s most respected football journalists.
Part biography, part guide to Pep’s game, straight from the horse’s mouth: an absolute must if you want to understand Guardiola.
There are only two problems. The first is that it’s only available in Catalan, and the second is that it isn’t available.
Long since out of print, Guardiola has no interest in seeing it re-published, despite the obvious potential to make a pretty penny.
Pep Guardiola Cars:
Guardiola has supper taste in the choice of his vehicles. He drives S8, a car manufactured by Audi whose price is currently put at $170, 000.
The keys to the 382-kW (520-hp) phantom-black Audi S8 was given to him below. Audi’s CEO, Rupert Stadler, personally presented it to him.
This car makes him feel at home on the road.
Pep Guardiola Religion:
According to research, Pep Guardiola is non-religious. He is an Atheist and doesn’t believe in the existence of God.
People expected Guardiola to be at least mildly Catholic. As observed from most Spaniards. Pep is among that quarter of the population of Spain that considers itself non-religious.
Pep Guardiola Bio – Love for Golf:
A love of smart clothes naturally translates to a love of golf.
Guardiola attended the 2012 ‘Miracle in Medinah’ at the invitation of Europe’s Ryder Cup captain and compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal.
Aside from his playing career in Europe, Guardiola spent time with Al Ahly of Qatar. And then Dorados de Sinaloa of Mexico, which proved his swansong.
Pep Guardiola Biography Facts – Love for Peter Crouch:
In 2006, Guardiola wrote a series of columns for El Pais during the German World Cup. The content provides a fascinating insight into his footballing mind.
One of the most intriguing of those involves him gushing over a favourite striker. From the tournament. The person’s name may come as a surprise: Peter Crouch.
Asides from Pep Guardiola’s bio, we have other related Managerial childhood biography stories for your reading pleasure. That Life History of Massimiliano Allegri, Ernesto Valverde and Ryan Mason will interest you.