Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola- two masterminds in the footballing world with both managers being hailed amongst the greatest in recent history, which ultimately begs the question- who is better?
Between them, the pair have won an astonishing 49 trophies with Mourinho contributing 27 to Guardiola’s 22. It has been clear for quite some time that these managers are at the top of their game, with them both enjoying success across Europe. Although they both have had unprecedented success wherever they have been in charge, their managerial tactics differ substantially-
Mourinho, aged 54, has endured spells at Porto, Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and is now at Manchester United.
If Jose were to win another Champions League, he would be the first manager of all time to win three Champions League titles with three different clubs, a statistic that will truly cement his name amongst the greatest ever.
Over the years his style of play has adapted to a 4-2-3-1 formation consisting of the defence being strongly held tight with two technically gifted holding midfielders, something he implemented in his Madrid days with Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso, a tactic he is also bringing into fruition at Old Trafford with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has emphasised the importance of a solid central block and setting up a robust structure to break down, especially away from home with confidence his more attacking players will be able to produce something in the final third.
His very well drilled teams have been something to admire as Jose’s teams have always been a strong outlook in Europe being difficult for even the most talented stars to break down.
46-year-old Guardiola has enjoyed fantastic times managing Barcelona and Bayern Munich, with the Spaniard currently at Mourinho’s Manchester United rivals – Manchester City.
His previous having been nothing short of outstanding. He has chopped and changed his preferred formation depending on the clubs he has been at, but his teams have been set up to be relentless going forward, with a tight formation allowing his side to dominate possession in most games they go into.
He also has been one to enjoy a very high defensive line with ball confident centre-backs such as Gerard Pique at Barcelona and now with John Stones at City.
His centre-backs are the beginning of his side going forward with precise passing starting from the back line, with his footballing tactics being the first to be regarded as ‘tika-taka’ football.
His most successful spell was at Barcelona from 2008-2011 with them being one of the greatest sides in club football history as they picked up a staggering 14 trophies in them four years.
All the teams he has managed playing an incredibly quick and attractive style of play with genius attacking midfielders such as Lionel Messi and Kevin De Bruyne being able to excel.
His exciting perspective on football has been refreshing with so much concentration being dedicated to shifting the ball from left to right, and back to front at a blistering pace, there is no wonder why all of Europe’s elite would be lucky to have him sitting in their dugout.
The pair have faced each another a total of 16 times with Pep having the more impressive record, winning seven to Jose’s three.
Two managers that have graced the beautiful game with their contrasting tactics have embarked on a fascinating rivalry with the two set to go toe-to-toe again for the Premier League title.
Will it be Pep’s fast-paced passing to take the blue half of Manchester to glory, or will it be another Mourinho managerial masterclass that brings the title finally back to Old Trafford?