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Rating the 14 players to play under Guardiola and Mourinho

Tottenham’s clash with Manchester City this weekend brings together two of the most successful managers in the history of the game, as Jose Mourinho prepares to do battle with Pep Guardiola once more.

The two coaches have won a staggering eight league titles and two Champions League trophies each, bringing success to some of European football’s biggest clubs across five different domestic competitions.

Throughout that time an exclusive group of players have been fortunate to work alongside two of football’s greatest minds of the modern era, and we’ve decided to look at the 14 stars to have been coached by both Mourinho and Guardiola.

Here are our ratings of the 14 players to play under Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola:

Eidur Gudjohnsen

Gudjohnsen was amongst a select few players who survived Chelsea’s billionaire investment to remain a key figure in their new era of success under the ownership Roman Abramovich, the height of which came following Mourinho’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.

The Portuguese announced himself to English football as the ‘Special One’ and delivered on that assessment in some style, winning back-to-back league titles in his first two seasons at Chelsea.

Gudjohnsen scored 12 league goals during that first title-winning season before falling slightly out-of-favour, joining Barcelona and spending three seasons with the club, forming part of the squad which won a Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey treble under Guardiola in his final season.

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Rating: 7/10


Maxwell was part of the Inter Milan squad that Mourinho inherited upon arriving in Italy, though despite being a valued member of the squad he struggled to win favour under the Portuguese in their sole season together.

The Brazilian joined Barcelona in the summer of 2009 and spent three seasons under the tutelage of Guardiola, making 89 appearances in all competitions and winning two league titles and the Champions League before a successful six-year spell at Paris Saint-Germain.

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Rating: 6/10

Samuel Eto’o

Few players have contributed more to the success of both Guardiola and Mourinho than Samuel Eto’o, a player who helped spearhead some of the best sides coached by the managerial greats.

Eto’o became an iconic figure in Barcelona’s history during a prolific five-year spell at the Catalan club, scoring 130 goals in just 199 appearances in all competitions and winning a wealth of major honours including three league titles and the Champions League twice – scoring in each final.

The record four-time African Footballer of the Year overcame a difficult initial relationship with Guardiola to star during Barcelona’s treble-winning season in 2008/09, scoring 36 goals in all competitions and starring alongside Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry.

Despite that contribution, Eto’o was allowed to leave that summer as part of an exchange deal involving Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a deal which saw Inter Milan and Jose Mourinho benefit in some style.

Eto’o was a key figure in the side which won Italian football’s first-ever treble during his first season at the San Siro, becoming the first player in history to win continental trebles with two different teams following his back-to-back achievement.

He spent three seasons with Inter, scoring 53 goals in just 102 appearances.

Rating: 10/10

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Heading to Barcelona in a mega-money deal involving Eto’o was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a player who had starred during three seasons at Inter Milan, including winning successive league titles under the guidance of Mourinho.

Ibrahimovic scored 58 goals in just 100 appearances under Mourinho at Inter and was twice named as Serie A’s Footballer of the Year, though his move to Barcelona proved a brief and unhappy spell.

He initially began brightly in Catalonia but the desire of Lionel Messi to play a central role, alongside an increasingly fraught relationship with Guardiola, brought an end to his time with the Spanish giants after a single 21-goal campaign.

Spells at AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain followed before reuniting with Mourinho once more at Manchester United, winning a League Cup and Europa League double during a brief spell in English football.

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In signature style, Ibrahimovic has never been shy to voice his opinion and has regularly praised Mourinho whilst directing jibes in the direction of Guardiola.

“He’s [Mourinho] the leader of his army. But he cares, too. He would text me all the time at Inter, wondering how I was doing. He’s the exact opposite of Pep Guardiola. If Mourinho lights up a room, Guardiola draws the curtains.

“Mourinho would become a guy I was basically willing to die for.”

Rating: 8/10


Pedro was handed his opportunity under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona after coming through the club’s fabled La Masia academy system, playing a bit-part role in the club’s treble-winning season during the Spaniard’s first season in charge.

The following campaign saw the winger enjoy a true breakthrough as he became the first player in history to score in six different club competitions in the same season, scoring 23 goals in all competitions to win a second successive league title.

A second Champions League crown was won in 2011 with Pedro scoring the opener in the final victory over Manchester United at Wembley, the Spain international making 321 appearances for Barcelona and winning a wealth of honours before signing for Chelsea.

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His move to English football saw him join Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, though he played just 17 times under the Portuguese before the manager parted company with the west London side by mutual consent.

Rating: 8/10

Cesc Fabregas

After leaving Barcelona as a teenager in search of a clearer pathway to first-team football at Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas returned to his boyhood side as one of the Premier League’s finest midfielders in 2011, handed an opportunity to play under childhood idol Guardiola.

Despite the romantic notion of Fabregas’ return and an impressive goal and assist record, the midfielder struggled to establish himself as a key figure in a midfield stacked with talent including the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.

Fabregas spent three seasons with the club and won one league title and one Spanish Cup amongst his honours, before signing for Chelsea as part of a transformative transfer window for Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard played a crucial part in re-establishing the west London side as England’s dominant force, finishing as the league’s leading assist provider in his debut season as Chelsea were crowned as Premier League champions, before adding a second title under Antonio Conte two years later.

Rating: 8/10

Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso ranks amongst the classiest operators of the modern era and enjoyed a career of huge success at the very highest level, winning major silverware at the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Alonso formed part of the Real Madrid side that were crowned as Spanish champions under Mourinho during the 2011/12 campaign, becoming the first side in La Liga history to reach a century of points and scoring a record-breaking 121 goals.

The midfielder joined Pep Guardiola in the Bundesliga following a move to Bayern Munich in 2014, winning two successive league titles under his compatriot and earning his huge admiration, Guardiola having described the playmaker as ‘one of the best midfielders ever’.

Rating: 9/10

Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben headed to Chelsea during Mourinho’s first summer in charge of the club in 2004, with the young winger winning consecutive Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge and being named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2004/05.

Injuries prevented English football from seeing the best of Robben and he moved on to Real Madrid, spending three seasons with the Spanish giants before heading to Bayern Munich and enjoying a glittering decade of success.

Robben won eight league titles – including six domestic doubles – and the Champions League during his time in Bavaria, with three of those Bundesliga successes coming under the guidance of Guardiola.

Undoubtedly one of the best wingers in world football at the peak of his powers, Robben bettered a goal every other game under Guardiola and finished fourth in the rankings for the 2014 Ballon d’Or.

Rating: 9/10

Claudio Pizarro

Claudio Pizarro’s career achievements can go perhaps under the radar, despite the forward being the second-highest scoring foreign player in Bundesliga history behind only Robert Lewandowski.

The Peruvian endured a hugely forgettable spell in the Premier League and scored just twice in 32 appearances in all competitions, with just five of those coming under Mourinho before the latter’s first departure from Chelsea in 2007.

Pizarro returned to German football with Werder Bremen before joining Bayern Munich for a second spell in 2012, having previously spent six years with the Bavarians in the early noughties.

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The experienced forward largely played a bit-part role but provided a valuable contribution to Guardiola’s first title success at Bayern, scoring 10 league goals despite making just six starts.

Rating: 4/10

Kevin De Bruyne

Jose Mourinho is not one to publicly speak on potential regrets but his treatment of Kevin De Bruyne at Chelsea may still rankle, the midfielder having been swiftly discarded by the Blues’ boss after finding himself on the sidelines at Stamford Bridge.

After rebuilding his career with Wolfsburg he returned to the Premier League at Manchester City, where he has since established himself as one of the finest footballers in the game.

De Bruyne’s career has reached new heights since the appointment of Pep Guardiola at the Etihad, winning two league titles and a domestic treble in addition to being named as the PFA Player of the Year last season.

No player in the division’s history has ever reached 50 assists in quicker fashion than the Belgian, who showcased his talents by equalling Thierry Henry’s long-standing single season assist record last season.

Rating: 9/10

Bastien Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger stands as one of the best midfielders of his generation, though his spells under both Guardiola and Mourinho came during the start of his decline.

Schweinsteiger won eight league titles and the Champions League during a glittering career at Bayern Munich, the final two title successes coming under the guidance of Guardiola.

Injuries hindered those final campaigns, however, and he departed for Manchester United in search of a new challenge in 2015, where he was joined at Old Trafford by Mourinho the following summer.

He made just four appearances in all competitions under Mourinho after struggling to make an impact, before leaving for MLS side Chicago Fire.

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A brilliant player at his best, but perhaps past his peak during stints under the managerial greats and his rating suffers as a result.

Rating: 5/10

Alexis Sanchez

Another player who perhaps failed to show their true potential under Guardiola and Mourinho, particularly during a woeful spell at Manchester United under the latter.

Sanchez signed for Barcelona in 2011 and initially started superbly in Spain, forming part of an exciting attacking line-up alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, David Villa and Pedro as the Catalans won the league title in Guardiola’s final season in charge.

He spent a further two seasons at the Camp Nou before joining Arsenal, establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s finest forwards, scoring 80 goals in 166 appearances for the north London side.

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Sanchez’s fortunes dropped drastically following an ill-fated move to join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, scoring just three league goals over 18 months despite becoming the Premier League’s highest-paid player.

Rating: 6/10

Nathan Ake

One of two recent summer signings to join this exclusive group, Nathan Ake became Pep Guardiola’s latest defensive addition after moving to Manchester City during the summer.

Ake had previously come through the academy ranks at Chelsea, though made just six appearances in all competitions under Mourinho as he struggled for regular opportunities at Stamford Bridge.

After several loan spells he joined Bournemouth on a permanent basis and impressed during three seasons on the South Coast, despite featuring in a defence that regularly offered up opportunities.

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The Netherlands international’s performances saw City sign the defender in a £40m deal earlier this year where he will be hoping to force his way into the Spaniard’s starting side at the Etihad.

Rating: 4/10

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Pep Guardiola reportedly ‘fell in love’ with a young Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg at Bayern Munich, with the youngster handed a handful of opportunities during the Spaniard’s title-winning debut season in Bavaria.

The Danish midfielder spent time out on loan to develop but never quite made the grade at Bayern, moving to Southampton in 2016 – the same year Guardiola headed to the Premier League with Manchester City.

After four seasons on the South Coast the star’s performances attracted the attention of Mourinho, who signed the 25-year-old during the summer as he sought a new enforcer for his Tottenham midfield.

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Hojbjerg has quickly established himself as a pivotal figure for the north London side, anchoring the side impressively over the opening weeks of the campaign and will likely play a key figure in this weekend’s match up between the two coaches.

Rating: 5/10

Read – Five of the most famous games between Guardiola and Mourinho teams

Read Also – Five Premier League players returning from international duty in red-hot form

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