Deutschland über England for Guardiola
Heynckes, who had steered Bayern to a nine-point lead in the Bundesliga at the start of the winter break – in his third spell at the club – had already indicated his intention to retire when his contract expires on June 30th.
Chelsea are preparing to re-enter the market for a permanent successor to Di Matteo. The club’s supporters have made it clear they are unlikely ever to accept Benitez, though the process of unearthing alternatives will begin most likely after the closure of this transfer window.
Mourinho will be considered and the credentials of Michael Laudrup at Swansea, Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp will also be assessed.
Guardiola The Barcelona years
Barcelona’s new head coach, appointed as Frank Rijkaard’s replacement, decided he needed a fresh squad and sold Ronaldinho, Deco and Gianluca Zambrotta, among many others.
He then guided Barca to a domestic and continental treble, the first Spanish side to achieve the feat.
The Copa del Rey was secured with a 4-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao and the league title followed after a campaign that involved a 20-match unbeaten streak and a 6-2 win over bitter rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
The treble was completed when they beat Manchester United 2-0 in the Champions League final in Rome, with Lionel Messi taking centre-stage.
Trophies won: Copa del Rey, La Liga, Champions League.
The Spanish Super Cup, Uefa Super Cup and World Club Cup were added to Barcelona’s trophy cabinet before the turn of the year, making Guardiola the first manager in history to win six honours in one calendar year.
They failed to defend their Champions League crown after being eliminated by Inter Milan at the semi-final stage but retained their La Liga title with a record points total of 99.
During the season Guardiola also became the first ever Barcelona manager to orchestrate four successive El Clasico victories over Real Madrid.
Trophies won: Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, World Club Cup, La Liga.
Another Super Cup success and La Liga title followed for Guardiola, although he did taste his first ever defeat in a final as his side lost 1-0 to Real in the Copa del Rey.
Another Champions League success was secured, again beating Manchester United, this time 3-1 at Wembley after overcoming Real Madrid in the semi-finals.
Trophies won: Spanish Super Cup, La Liga, Champions League.
Victories in the Spanish Super Cup and European Super Cup meant Guardiola had won more trophies than any previous Barcelona manager.
More silverware was to come as Barcelona beat Santos to defend the World Club Cup and they also defeated Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Copa del Rey.
But Barca were beaten to the Primera Division crown by Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid and missed out on defending the Champions League after falling 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals to eventual winners Chelsea.
Trophies won: Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, World Club Cup, Copa del Rey.
Total trophies (14): La Liga (three), Spanish Super Cup (three), Champions League (two), World Club Cup (two), European Super Cup (two), Copa del Rey (two).