Pep Guardiola’s forensic attention to detail is what makes him one of the world’s most revered coaches. This level of thorough analysis requires a lot of work, so it’s no surprise that Guardiola always assembles a talented backroom team when taking over a club.
Working under the obsessive Spaniard must be tiring but it’s also the best way imaginable to cut your managerial teeth. That’s why so many of Pep’s assistants have gone to achieve great things in the game.
However, because his assistants are always getting poached by chairman looking for the next best thing to the man himself, Guardiola has gone through an extensive list of deputies during his fairly short career.
Now, after months without an assistant by his side, he finally has a new buddy – after City confirmed the appointment of Juan Manuel Lillo. For him, it’s an opportunity to link up with the best, but where have his predecessors ended up?
If you’d lost track of all of his former number twos, never fear. We’ve hunted them down – not literally – to see what they’re up to now.
Domènec Torrent first hooked up with Guardiola all the way back in 2007 when the pair were offered the chance to manage Barcelona’s B team.
The very next season, they were elevated to the senior side where they guided Barca to a historic treble. This was just the beginning of Torrent’s trophy haul and he would go on to win two more La Liga titles before departing Camp Nou – along with Guardiola – in 2012.
The duo would continue to work together at Bayern Munich and then Manchester City. Torrent finally – to paraphrase Fleetwood Mac – went his own way two years ago, when he jumped at the chance manage New York City.
He lasted a year in the Big Apple before terminating his contract by mutual consent. He recently opened the door for a glorious reunion with Guardiola in the future, though whether he’d take him back remains to be seen.
Another one of Guardiola’s early allies, Tito Vilanova assisted during his time as Barcelona manager.
Vilanova was appointed Pep’s successor in 2012 and he led the club to the La Liga title
during his inaugural season at the helm. Barça racked up a century of points and finished with a record breaking 15-point lead at the top of the table.
Tragically, after this early success he was forced to step down due to health concerns. He would sadly pass away in 2014 due to complications from parotid gland cancer at the age of just 45.
When Guardiola took over at Bayern Munich in 2013, Hermann Gerland was part of the Allianz Arena furniture.
The German had been with Die Roten on and off in various capacities since 1990 and Pep was clearly charmed, keeping him as part of his backroom staff.
After he left, Gerland remained in his post and he continues to assist current Bayern boss Hansi Flick to this day. Hopefully they give him the top job one day.
The most famous of all of Pep’s exes, Mikel Arteta walked straight into a top level Premier League job after just two-and-a-half years of working with Guardiola.
The much respected Arteta was inundated with offers upon announcing his retirement from playing in 2016, eventually opting to take his talents to Manchester City.
The Spaniard received praise from many of City’s stars during his time at the club and Arsenal tried to secure his services when Arsene Wenger retired in 2018.
Though he turned down the Gunners’ advances that time, he could not resist returning to his former club when they came calling again last year. He remains in the Emirates Stadium hot seat today where he’s likely preparing for his side’s first game back on 17 June, against none other than Guardiola’s Citizens. How exciting.