Pep Guardiola won his fourth Premier League title in six seasons as Manchester City edged past Liverpool in the hunt for domestic glory.
But while the Spaniard has beaten what he considers his toughest rival, his latest trophy will also give him bragging rights to his most famous foe – Jose Mourinho!
Guardiola’s fourth league title in England means he has now surpassed the three Mourinho amassed in two spells with Chelsea.
During his tenure, the 51-year-old team broke numerous records, including the only team to earn 100 championship points in a campaign.
Guardiola is also the first and only manager to win the English men’s football domestic treble after Klopp failed in the league.
However, given how Mourinho ended his time in Spain, it will be particularly satisfying to have now overhauled his great rival’s success in England.
The Mourinho/Guardiola rivalry peaked when the Portuguese was at Real Madrid and Guardiola was at Barcelona, but its origins come before that.
Guardiola vs Mourinho H2H
League titles: Guardiola (9) Mourinho (8)
Domestic cups: Guardiola (9) Mourinho (8)
UEFA Cup: Guardiola (1) Mourinho (0)
Champions League: Guardiola (2) Mourinho (2)
Europa League: Guardiola (0) Mourinho (1)
Total number of clubs: Guardiola (3) Mourinho (10)
Head to head: Guardiola (12 wins) Mourinho (7 wins) 6 draws
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Inter Milan, led by Mourinho between 2008 and 2010, faced reigning European champions Barcelona in the 2009/10 Champions League semi-final.
Barca starters were favorites to win after picking up a win and a draw when the two sides met in the group stage in Pep and Jose’s first meetings as managers, but things didn’t work out in this way.
The Italian team won the first leg 3-1 and ten-man Inter managed to fight their way to the final after a 1-0 defeat at Camp Nou.
“It’s the best defeat of my life,” Mourinho said afterwards. “It’s blood style, not skill. We were a team of heroes.
Inter would win the Champions League and equal Barcelona’s treble in 2008/09, leading to Real Madrid bringing in the Special One as their new manager.
A fierce rivalry developed between the two managers over the next few years, with incidents including gouging out eyes and hair jibes.
When Mourinho finally ended Guardiola’s three-time La Liga title streak, the Spaniard took a year off from football.
And Gerard Pique, who played under Guardiola, believes his Portuguese rival’s wits are a major factor in that.
Speaking to Gary Neville’s Overlap podcast, Pique said: “We were winning everything back then and I remember the first time Mourinho came to Camp Nou he lost 5-0 to us.
“It was a shock of reality that these guys are going hard, but in the press conferences every time he was, you know his style, and I think for Guardiola at some point it was too much.
“Sometimes it was more important what happened off the pitch than on the pitch. Guardiola left.
“Madrid won the league that year and all of a sudden he decided to leave for so many reasons, but I’m sure it was partly because with Mourinho it was too much.”
Record between Guardiola and Mourinho in the Premier League
Matches: Guardiola (227) Mourinho (363)
Wins: Guardiola (168) Mourinho (217)
Draws: Guardiola (29) Mourinho (84)
Defeats: Guardiola (30) Mourinho (62)
Goals for: Guardiola (562) Mourinho (625)
Goals against: Guardiola (180) Mourinho (305)
Coach of the month: Guardiola (11) Mourinho (4)
Coach of the seasons: Guardiola (3) Mourinho (3)
Premier League titles: Guardiola (4) Mourinho (3)
After a period of rejuvenation at Bayern Munich, Guardiola then arrived at Man City where he twice outlasted Mourinho during the latter’s ill-fated spells at Manchester United and Tottenham.
And to add insult to injury, Guardiola has now claimed he will remember Klopp as the man who gave him the biggest challenges.
“Jurgen, as a manager, has been the biggest rival I’ve ever had in my career and I think what both teams offer is good for football,” he said last month.
“The point is not a jibe to Jose.
“He’s an exciting manager and I was his rival, but I’ve been here for five years and played against Liverpool several times.
“Except for the year we made 100 points, the rest was tight. It’s because they are good and hopefully they think we are too.
“I will remember my time here, when I retire watching and playing golf, I will remember that my biggest rival was Liverpool, for sure.”
Fans may disagree on who Guardiola’s biggest rival is, but there’s no denying he got the better of both…