Can football’s mystery man lead Barcelona to further success?

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Since becoming Barcelona’s most successful ever coach, Pep Guardiola has become notorious for continuously signing one year contracts. His current deal will therefore expire at the end of this season and due to his out-of-the-ordinary behaviour, questions and speculation naturally arises in the media towards this time in the football calendar.

Only Guardiola himself knows where his future lies, leaving the football world to guess and pray as he unintentionally teases Barcelona and turns the heads of other big clubs. The 41 year-old, who is the first manager to ever win a sextuple (La Liga, Spanish Supercup, Copa Del Rey, Champions League, European Supercup and FIFA’s Club World Cup-all in 2009) is often linked with Internazionale, Arsenal, Chelsea or rumoured as becoming Sir Alex Ferguson’s eventual successor at Manchester United.

Guardiola has been known for simply walking away from Barcelona in the past; after spending more than a decade at the club as a player (and as part of Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team), making over 260 appearances for the first team, the captain packed his bags and left for Italy without much of a known reason. As from his moderately unsuccessful and unhappy time there with Brescia Calcio and Roma (the ‘failed’ drugs test came here), the defensive midfielder spent 2 years in Qatar with Al-Ahli and a spell in Mexico with Dorados de Sinaloa, admirably dismissing rumours that linked him with Liverpool, both Manchester clubs and Chelsea to try somewhere new and face a new, different challenge.

With this trait in his personality, it may not come as such a large surprise to those who know this-therefore if Guardiola left his hometown of Catalonia one day for England, Italy or another country, there would have to be some element of respect even from Barça fans. It would take some courage to leave what many call the best team in the world, after all.

Not many people can claim to be hailed as a ‘genius’ in their profession as much as Guardiola has-and he may be the most modest to do so. There is no element of arrogance surrounding him, unlike his rival José Mourinho. The Real Madrid manager is often referred to as ‘The Special One’; a label that he gave to himself, many forget. If stories are to be believed, Gurdiola, a father of 3, turned up for his first day of work as the Barcelona manager in a second-hand Volkswagen Golf: he often plays down his greatness to the media-quite the contrast you might think.

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