MADRID, SPAIN – JANUARY 18: Barcelona head coach Josep Guardiola (L) directs his team while Real Madrid head coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the Copa del Rey Quarter Finals match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 18, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Looking back at the rivalry between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are two of the most decorated managers in the world. Between them, they have 14 League titles, four Champions League titles and over 20 various cups. The two managers will face-off this Saturday in the Manchester Derby. Having met 16 times before, one of the biggest matches on the Premier League calendar offers the perfect stage for the two men to renew their rivalry.

We look back over the last seven years at how this rivalry came to be, and some of the most memorable meetings between the two coaches.

Early meetings: 2009-2010

The very first meeting between Guardiola and Mourinho was in 2009 in the Champions League group stage. Mourinho’s Inter drew 0-0 with Guardiola’s Barcelona. It wasn’t an eventful start to the rivalry. In the return fixture of the group stage, Inter was soundly beaten by Guardiola’s team 2-0. After the match, Mourinho conceded to being the second best on the night. Looking back it’s almost uncharacteristic of Mourinho to ever admit to being second best, but the Portuguese manager hoped to get another crack at Barcelona. He vowed he would be ready for any potential rematch.

Mourinho’s wish was granted, as Inter would meet Barcelona again in the semi-finals of that season’s Champions League. It was a memorable moment for Mourinho. In the first leg in Milan, the Italians beat Barcelona 3-1. Inter looked set to go to the Champions League final, and would do so with a 1-0 defeat in the return leg. It was in that meeting that the rivalry between Mourinho and Guardiola really began. Inter held on for dear life at the Nou Camp. A 2-0 scoreline for Barcelona would have sent them through to the final. Inter were down a man after Thiago Motta was sent off, but hold on they did. Mourinho celebrated

Mourinho celebrated enthusiastically after the match, running out onto the field with his index finger motioning to the traveling Inter fans. Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes took exception to Mourinho’s antics and tried to restrain him. The incident resulted in plenty of hot tempers and would add fuel to the Barcelona/Real Madrid rivalry that Mourinho would soon be a part of.

The El Classico Years: 2010-2012

Those early meetings between the two managers were made to look like friendlies by the time Mourinho made his way to Real Madrid. Joining an already intense rivalry between the two Spanish giants, Mourinho would ratchet up his personal rivalry with Guardiola in their frequent meetings over the next two seasons.

The first meeting between Guardiola’s Barcelona and Mourinho’s Madrid was a 5-0 thrashing by the Catalans. Madrid, especially Mourinho were embarrassed, but would be given plenty of opportunity for revenge. That season the two sides would meet four times over the course of two weeks late in the season. This stretch of games would see the two managers go at each other on and off the field.

Barcelona drew first blood during this stretch with a 1-1 draw that effectively handed them the league title. Days after the draw, Mourinho earned his first trophy with Real Madrid when thanks to a late winner from Cristiano Ronaldo, the Spanish giants won their first Copa del Rey title in 18 seasons.

Following the Copa del Rey loss, Guardiola had plenty to say about the refereeing, which somewhat ironically, Mourinho took great issue with. That match sparked a war of words between the two managers for the rest of the season. Meeting in the Champions League shortly after didn’t make things any better. Two goals from Leo Messi and a red card for Pepe meant that Guardiola once again had the upper hand on his managerial rival. Mourinho himself was also sent to the stands in that game for protesting. After the match, Mourinho had words for not only the referee but Guardiola as well. He remarked that he hoped Guardiola could eventually win the competition in a legitimate fashion. He mentioned that at the time Guardiola only had one Champions League crown to his two(Inter and Porto) and that Guardiola’s one victory should have been an embarrassment.

“Josep Guardiola is a fantastic coach. But I have won two Champions Leagues and he has won [only] one Champions League – and that is one that would embarrass me. I would be ashamed to have won it with the scandal of Stamford Bridge. If he wins it this year, it will be with the scandal of the Bernabeu. Deep down, if they are good people, it cannot taste right for them. I hope one day Guardiola has the chance of winning a brilliant, clean championship with no scandal.”

Guardiola fired back sarcastically suggesting that Mourinho is more worried about winning off the pitch with his war of words that he was winning on the field, the former midfielder joked that Mourinho should be given a Champion’s League trophy for his off the field remarks.

In the following season’s Spanish Super Cup the world would witness the peak of this rivalry. After the previous season’s contentious meetings in the league, cup, and Champions League the two teams were  not really on speaking terms. It was so bad in some respects that many thought it could put a rift in the Spanish National team, a side made up of predominantly Madrid and Barcelona talent.

The 2011 Super Cup was a thrilling game won by a Messi strike three minutes before full-time, but it was what happened shortly after stole all the headlines. A terrible challenge from Marcelo on Cesc Fabregas saw the Brazilian sent off with a straight red. The incident happened near the two benches and a scuffle ensued near the fourth official. The scene was more reminiscent of a scrum at a hockey game than anything else. During the mayhem, a camera caught Mourinho coming around behind Barcelona assistant Tito Vilanova and poking him in the eye.

For the remainder of the season, which would be Guardiola’s last at Barcelona, the two teams, and managers would battle it out on three fronts. Guardiola would get the better of his rival early in the League, but Mourinho would ultimately win La Liga on the back of a late season win at the Nou Camp. Barcelona would knock out Madrid in the Copa del Rey and go on to win that tournament. Both managers would make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League, but losses to Chelsea and Bayern Munich prevented an El Classico final.

Guardiola would leave at the end of the season to take a year sabbatical, but Mourinho took the liberty to make one last comment, suggesting that despite being the older of the two, he wasn’t as tired.

The 2013 Super Cup

Guardiola and Mourinho’s most recent meeting to date was one that neither manager had any role in getting their teams to. Bayern Munich won the Champions League with Jupp Heynckes and Chelsea won the Europa League with Rafael Benitez. The teams would take part in a memorable Super Cup the following season. The match was a debut for both managers. For Mourinho, it was the start of his second stint in charge of the London club and for Guardiola, it would be his first match ever for Bayern. The UEFA Super Cup usually isn’t given too much fan fair, but given the two manager’s history, it was hotly anticipated.

The match itself was quite the classic. It was a back and forth game. Chelsea scored first and Bayern responded via Franck Ribery. The Frenchman celebrated his goal by running over to his new manager to tell him he scored against Mourinho just for him. Chelsea went down a man when Ramires was sent off for a nasty challenge. Mourinho would later criticise the referee for “ruining” the match. Despite being shorthanded Chelsea took a 2-1 lead in extra time thanks to an Eden Hazard strike. Bayern would equalize with the very last kick of the match, however, and would win on penalties.

Their final meeting was much more relaxed than any meeting they had during the El Classico days. They haven’t come up against each other since. That will change this Saturday when the two superstar managers take part in another big name rivalry. Heading into Saturday’s Derby Guardiola hold’s the advantage over Mourinho winning seven, losing three and drawing six. Mourinho will be hungry to catch up, starting this weekend.

About Harrison Prolic

Northern Illinois graduate with a degree in Journalism. Full-time page designer in Madison, Wisconsin. Part time follower of all things German soccer. I tweet about the Bundesliga and plenty of other sports @hprolic.