Pep Guardiola. One of the most iconic football managers as he found success at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now he has brought his magic to the English Premier League with Manchester City. Pep made the switch to Man City in 2016 and it didn’t take long for him to have an impact. After starting the 2016-2017 season strong, the team finished empty handed meaning it was Pep’s first year as a manager without any trophies. In the following season, Pep gained momentum as he brought in key players such as Ederson Moraes, Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva which all led to a record-breaking season for Man City. Having won their third ever Premier League title in 2018, they broke many Premier League records along the way such as most total points on the season, most wins, most goals and most consecutive victories. With such an incredible 2017-2018 season, they still fell short of bringing home the Champions League trophy with a devastating loss to rival Liverpool with a 5-1 aggregate. The following season Pep led the team to winning all four of England’s primary football trophies: Premier League Title, Premier League Cup, FA Cup and the Community Shield Cup. However, they once again fell short in the Champions League going 4-4 aggregate with Tottenham in the quarterfinals but Tottenham advanced on away aggregate.
It is no doubt that in the span of four years at Man City, Pep has turned the team into a powerhouse, but there’s a lot of questions for Pep and his team as we enter 2020. On February 14, UEFA announced that Manchester City is being fined $32.5 million and will suffer a two-year suspension from the UEFA Champions League due to consistent violation of financial regulations. There are serious implications with these allegations, especially as they have fallen short in their Champions League run the last few years. A lot of questions have arisen in the football world. What will the outcome of Man City’s appeal be? What does this mean for star players like Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Agüero, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling? And most of all, what does this mean for Pep?
There is no way to predict the future and the fate of the world class players and manager, but there is one thing for certain. Given the Champions League ban won’t be implemented until next year, Man City can continue their quest for the trophy this year. And this time with some newfound vengeance. The round of 16 started a few days ago and Man City came out on top of Real Madrid with a 2-1 victory. The second leg will be played March 17. The future of this star stacked team is at stake but thank god these stakes won’t be felt for a few months. In the meantime, we should expect a Man City team to be playing each game as their last, because who knows what the future holds for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. My guess is a 2020 Champions League Trophy.