He may be only 38 and in his first season in a senior position, but Josep Guardiola has become the sixth man to win the European Champion Clubs' Cup as player and coach after guiding FC Barcelona to victory in Rome.
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Josep Guardiola became only the sixth man to win the European Champion Clubs' Cup as both player and coach after guiding FC Barcelona to a superb victory over Manchester United FC in Rome.
"It's a great achievement in [Guardiola's] first year as coach so well done ... fantastic," said opposite number Sir Alex Ferguson. "All his players want to play, keep the ball, and enjoy their football, so all credit to him." Guardiola, in an increasingly familiar tone, deflected the acclaim but admitted he wants more. "As a player it was great to win that first trophy [in 1992]," he said. "Now we have three [European Cups] which isn't as many as some, but we're getting closer to what is a select group of mythical teams."
Guardiola already sits among distinguished company. A member of the first Barcelona team to lift the European Cup after a 1-0 Wembley triumph against UC Sampdoria in 1992, he appeared in another final two years later, losing 4-0 to AC Milan in Athens. Since stepping up from coaching Barcelona's B team last June, however, the 38-year-old has experienced only success – the UEFA Champions League title following Spanish Liga and Copa del Rey silverware into the Camp Nou trophy cabinet.
Two of the other five men to land the European Cup as coach and player also had Barça connections. Johan Cruyff was in charge of the 1992 side having previously prevailed with AFC Ajax in 1971, 1972 and 1973; Frank Rijkaard oversaw the Catalan club's coronation of 2006 after playing wins with Milan in 1989 and 1990 – the last time a team successfully defended the trophy – and with Ajax in 1995. Miguel Muñoz, Giovanni Trapattoni and Rijkaard's former Milan team-mate Carlo Ancelotti complete the illustrious list.