Hate him or love him, we all just gotta admit that Pep Guardiola is one of the greatest managers of all time. But who are the greatest players he has ever coached? Well, that’s what we’re here to look at today.
This is Pep Guardiola all time best 6 and where they are right now.
1. Manuel Neuer
Let’s start with Pep’s all-time best goalie is Manuel Neuer. He’s definitely miles ahead of the likes of Victor Valdes, Claudio Bravo, and Ederson.
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Neuer had the number 1 shirt throughout Pep’s time at Bayern, and he’s still there captaining the German giants. At 37, Neuer is still staking a claim as one of the top goalkeepers in the world, still manning the sticks for Bayern Munich and the Germany national team.
Now, Neuer being Pep’s all-time best goalie was undebatable, and you know what else is? His all-time best right-back.
2. Dani Alves
Dani Alves is not only Pep’s all-time best right-back, he’s also arguably the greatest right-back of all time.
But unlike Neuer, Alves’ current story is not a pretty one. After reaching the top of his game as the most decorated player in football history at the time, he got himself into some really big trouble which led to him being arrested in January 2023.
At the time, he was playing for Mexican club UNAM, but as a result of his arrest, his contract was terminated. Now, Pep’s greatest ever right-back is 40 years old and sitting behind bars. Sad.
3. Vincent Kompany
In the center of the defense is where debate really comes in. But I guess we can all agree that Vincent Kompany is one of the greatest center-backs Pep Guardiola has ever coached.
And where is Kompany now? Going up against the master in the Premier League as coach of Burnley. The former Man City defender was super impressive in the Championship last season, but this season has proven to be very tough for him in the English top flight. Will he survive the drop? We’ll only have to wait to find out.
Pretty poetically, Kompany started his Premier League coaching career by going up against his former coach Pep Guardiola in August 2023.
Now, who do we pair with Kompany at the center of defense? Ruben Dias? Jerome Boateng? Gerard Pique?
4. Carles Puyol
Honestly, they all have good arguments, but we’ve decided to go for Carles Puyol for obvious reasons. The Spaniard was tough, sharp, and a very good leader. He was Barcelona captain for the 4 years Pep was at the club, and honestly? He’s arguably Pep’s greatest ever captain, so we just could not leave him out.
He retired from professional football in 2014 but has since been in the footballing space. He worked as assistant to Barcelona’s football director for a short period in 2015. Then in 2019, he was offered the sporting director role at Barcelona, but he rejected it.
5. David Alaba
On the left side of defense, we have David Alaba who played under Pep at Bayern Munich. He’s so good at defending, great at setpieces, and is really versatile. This is why when Real Madrid found out he was available for free, they signed him instantly.
He’s now at Real Madrid, and despite being in his 30s, he’s a staple in the first team. He helped Madrid win the European double in 2022 and he has been great since then.
6. Sergio Busquets
Now, to the midfield. Who else would we have in defensive midfield if not Sergio Busquets? No arguments about that, he’s one of the greatest to have ever done it.
The former Barcelona captain left his boyhood club in 2023 and moved to Inter Miami where he currently plays.
Another name you expect to feature in the midfield is Xavi. He’s frankly one of the greatest players Pep has ever had the privilege of coaching. The pair who were once teammates at Barcelona worked as coach and player at the same club, and now Xavi has Pep’s former job. Isn’t that just interesting.
It’s currently not going very well for Xavi at Barcelona, but he managed to win La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup in his first full season as coach of his old club.
Xavi and Pep have gone against each other as coaches once during a friendly game between Barcelona and Man City.
8. Kevin De Bruyne
To complete the midfield 3 is Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian is one of the greatest midfielders in Premier League history and he has been a true magician under Pep Guardiola. He is arguably the best player Pep has coached at Manchester City.
KDB is still a very important figure at City, but he has really been struggling with injuries in recent times. Hopefully, he’s able to recover and bounce back to top form.
9. Andres Iniesta
We know some of you have already been cursing us under your breath for leaving Andres Iniesta out, but there’s no way we could do that. He features in the attack. For those who don’t know, Iniesta often featured as a left-winger in his early years in Spain and that’s where he features in this XI today.
Iniesta is 39 but he’s still going on strong. He left Barcelona and moved to Japan to join Vissel Kobe in 2018. He spent 5 years there and then, in 2023, he moved to the UAE to join Emirates where he currently plays.
Now, the center-forward spot is another one that brought much debate. Theirry Henry has a very good argument, but honestly, he hardly played as a center-forward under Pep and his prime was before Barcelona.
Samuel Eto’o is great, but he just didn’t spend enough time playing under Pep to earn the spot.
10. Robert Lewandowski
Sergio Aguero also has a really huge shout, but we have decided to go for Robert Lewandowski who played under Pep at Bayern Munich.
Lewandowski is one of the best strikers of his generation, and you could say he even narrowly missed out on a Ballon d’Or in 2020 and 2021.
He moved to Pep’s former club in 2022, and now he leads the attack for Xavi’s Barcelona. Pep’s all-time XI are all connected somehow, aren’t they?
11. Lionel Messi
Anyway, we now wrap up with the easiest guess of the lot, Lionel Messi. He is the greatest player Pep has ever coached and, frankly, the greatest player of all time.
Guardiola was very instrumental in Messi’s development as a young player and he remains a huge and very vocal fan of the Argentine till date.
Lionel Messi, who is now a world champion, 8-time Ballon d’Or winner, and the most decorated player in football history, now plies his trade at Inter Miami after a shock move to the MLS in 2023.
Well, there you have it, Pep Guardiola’s greatest ever XI. Would you make any changes to this team?
Let us know in the comments.