Pep Guardiola has enjoyed a decorated managerial career but even he has one or two managers he would want to avoid | MIGUEL A. LOPES/Getty Images

Over the past decade, Pep Guardiola has become one of the greatest managers European football has ever seen, stacking up a mountain of trophies and even more plaudits for the attractive style of play he demands.

Groundbreaking stuff.

Barcelona's former President Joan Laport
Pep Guardiola won every competition in which his Barcelona side competed in his first year of senior management | JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

Some of the Catalan’s naysayers – of which there are plenty – will point to the fact that his managerial career has been limited to superclubs; Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. However, Guardiola’s head-to-head record against almost every coach he’s faced emphatically points towards his consistent excellence.

Only two managers – the odd pairing of Claudio Ranieri and Paul Cook – have a 100% record against Guardiola, but both have only faced City’s current coach once. In order to ensure this list is not solely comprised of one-off meetings, the managers below have been limited to those who have faced Guardiola at least three times.

Inevitably, some of the game’s best tactical minds have fared well against the revered Catalan, yet, one or two surprises have also crept through.

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Antonio Conte has faced Guardiola in the Premier League as Chelsea manager | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Record against Guardiola: 2W 0D 2L

The 2016/17 Premier League season was billed as the renewal of Guardiola and José Mourinho’s clásico rivalry in Manchester. But Antonio Conte spoiled the preseason narrative.

That campaign, Conte became the first ever manager to win home and away in the league against a side managed by Guardiola, as Chelsea romped to the title.

City’s boss ultimately earned his revenge the following season, defeating Chelsea twice as the Catalan claimed his maiden Premier League crown.

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Former teammates Guardiola and Luis Enrique embrace before their Champions League meeting | QUIQUE GARCIA/Getty Images

Record against Guardiola: 2W 0D 2L

In 2019, Guardiola told The Telegraph that there have been two sides in his career he could simply describe as: ‘Wow’. Luis Enrique’s Barcelona, stocked with the frightening frontline of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, were one of them.

Guardiola’s Bayern Munich were mauled 3-0 at Camp Nou in that famous 2015 Champions League semi-final. A modicum of dignity was restored with a 3-2 win in Germany.

Two years later Enrique’s Barça dished out another humbling, with Messi netting a hat-trick in a 4-0 group stage triumph before an inconsequential victory for City in the return fixture.

Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola
Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp have guided their two sides to the summit of the Premier League over the past three years | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Record against Guardiola: 9W 3D 7L

Jürgen Klopp is the only manager with a positive record (i.e. more wins than losses) against Guardiola to have faced the Catalan tactician on more than five occasions.

No other coach has come close to registering as many as the nine victories Klopp can boast (in fact, only Mourinho – with six – has also beaten Guardiola more than three times).

Just one loss for Guardiola in his last five outings against Klopp’s Liverpool has reset the balance of a rivalry which was threatening to become one sided.

Pep Guardiola, Andre Schubert
André Schubert goes head-to-head with Guardiola on the touchline | TF-Images/Getty Images

Record against Guardiola: 1W 2D 1L

André Schubert’s Borussia Mönchengladbach held the unique honour of going unbeaten against Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in 2015/16, recording the only defeat the Bavarian giants suffered on their domestic travels in that campaign.

However, Schubert fared worse when meeting Guardiola’s City in the Champions League group stage the following season, losing 4-0 in Manchester before earning a 1-1 home draw.

Kurban Berdyev
Kurban Berdyev has won as many games against Guardiola as the Catalan can boast against him | David Ramos/Getty Images

Record against Guardiola: 1W 2D 1L

In the build up to Rubin Kazan’s Champions League group stage clash with Barcelona in 2009, their manager Kurban Berdyev delivered the rather flat pre-game war-cry of: “I hope God listens to our prayers, but of course Barcelona are favourites to win.”

Somebody may have been looking upon them favourably because the Russian side recorded a famous 2-1 win against the defending champions at Camp Nou. Rubin also earned a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture.

The sides met again the following year. Yet, despite losing at Camp Nou, Berdyev oversaw another point against Guardiola’s side in Russia.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Pep Guardiola
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is one of only a handful of managers to have won more games against Guardiola than the Catalan can boast in the same matchup | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Record against Guardiola: 3W 0D 2L

Only five men have ever presided over as many as three victories against Guardiola and Solskjaer racked up all of them in 2019/20 – becoming just the second person to claim a treble of triumphs against Guardiola in a single season.

Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola
Carlo Ancelotti lost his first game against Guardiola in his first meeting against Manchester City with Everton | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Record against Guardiola: 2W 0D 1L

Despite a characteristic domination of possession, Guardiola’s Bayern Munich came away from the Santiago Bernabéu with a 1-0 loss to Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid.

Ahead of the second leg of the 2014 Champions League semi-final, Guardiola yielded to passion and opted for a 4-2-4. He later described this decision as ‘the biggest f***-up’ of his career.

Madrid ruthlessly punished Bayern on the break and at set-pieces, running out 4-0 winners.

It was only City’s 2-1 win against Everton last season which earned Guardiola his first victory against Ancelotti.

Josep Guardiola, Roberto Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo is one of only two managers to have an unbeaten record against Guardiola after more than three meetings with the coach | Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Record against Guardiola: 1W 2D 0L

After somehow earning a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge in the first leg, Roberto Di Matteo’s Chelsea came back from 2-0 down (with ten men) at Camp Nou to claim a memorable draw and a place in the 2012 Champions League final.

Di Matteo ensured he became one of only two men to go unbeaten against Guardiola across three or more games with a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich as Schalke manager in 2015.

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Ronald Koeman and Guardiola spent years playing together at Barcelona | AFP Contributor/Getty Images

Record against Guardiola: 1W 2D 0L

One day in early 1990, Johan Cruyff told his experienced sweeper to look after a certain La Masia graduate. Ronald Koeman dutifully took a young Guardiola under his wing, answering the myriad of questions his new roommate had about all facets of football.

Two and a half decades later, the pair – who had formed the defensive partnership of Cruyff’s fabled ‘Dream Team’ at Barcelona – met as managers in the Premier League.

After a respectable 1-1 draw, Koeman’s Everton inflicted Guardiola’s heaviest ever league defeat with a 4-0 win in January 2017, mercilessly exploiting Claudio Bravo’s inability to make a save – the Chilean number one had conceded 14 goals from his last 22 shots on target by the end of the match.

Koeman earned another 1-1 draw the following season before getting sacked that October.

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