Who is better: Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola?

March 17, 2023

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are two of the most successful and influential managers in modern football. They have won multiple trophies, broken records, and shaped the styles and philosophies of their teams. But Who is better: Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola?? This is a question that has sparked endless debates among fans, pundits, and even the managers themselves.

There is no definitive answer to this question, as both managers have their own strengths and weaknesses, achievements and failures, admirers and critics. However, one can try to compare them based on some criteria, such as personal accolades, trophies won, head-to-head record, style of play, impact on players and clubs, and legacy. Let’s take a look at

1.     Style of Play

Mourinho is known for his pragmatic approach to the game, where he prioritizes a solid defensive structure over attacking flair. He is known for using a 4-2-3-1 formation, with two holding midfielders to protect the defense and allow for the more attacking players to have the freedom to create and score goals. Mourinho is also known for his emphasis on counter-attacking football, where his teams are highly organized and disciplined defensively, but able to quickly transition into attack when they win the ball back.

Mourinho’s teams are also known for their physicality and intensity, with players expected to work hard off the ball and put pressure on the opposition to regain possession. He is also known for his excellent man-management skills, where he creates a strong bond with his players and often uses psychological tactics to motivate and inspire them.


Guardiola’s preferred formation is a 4-3-3 or a variation of that system. He places a strong emphasis on positional play, where each player has a specific role and responsibility within the team structure. His teams typically play a high-pressing game, with an emphasis on winning the ball back quickly and pressing the opposition high up the pitch.

In possession, Guardiola’s teams prioritize ball retention and patient build-up play, with an emphasis on quick, short passes and fluid movement to break down the opposition defense. His teams use a range of passing patterns and movements to create space and passing angles for teammates, with the aim of dominating possession and controlling the tempo of the game.

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2.     Trophies Won

Trophies are another way to measure how good a manager is. They reflect the tangible results that a manager achieves with his team. They also show the ability to cope with pressure, expectations, and challenges. Both Mourinho and Guardiola have won plenty of trophies throughout their careers.


Here is a list of all the major trophies won by Jose Mourinho as a coach:


FC Porto:


Primeira Liga (2): 2002-03, 2003-04

Taca de Portugal (1): 2002-03

Supertaca Candido de Oliveira (1): 2003

UEFA Champions League (1): 2003-04

UEFA Cup (1): 2002-03




Premier League (3): 2004-05, 2005-06, 2014-15

FA Cup (1): 2006-07

Football League Cup (2): 2004-05, 2006-07

FA Community Shield (1): 2005


Inter Milan:


Serie A (2): 2008-09, 2009-10

Coppa Italia (1): 2009-10

Supercoppa Italiana (1): 2008

UEFA Champions League (1): 2009-10


Real Madrid:


La Liga (1): 2011-12

Copa del Rey (1): 2010-11

Supercopa de Espana (1): 2012


Manchester United:


EFL Cup (1): 2016-17

Community Shield (1): 2016-17

UEFA Europa League (1): 2016-17



UEFA Conference League: 2021-22


Here is a list of all the major trophies won by Pep Guardiola as a coach:


FC Barcelona:


La Liga (3): 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11

Copa del Rey (2): 2008–09, 2011–12

Supercopa de España (3): 2009, 2010, 2011

UEFA Champions League (2): 2008–09, 2010–11

UEFA Super Cup (2): 2009, 2011

FIFA Club World Cup (2): 2009, 2011


Bayern Munich:


Bundesliga (3): 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16

DFB-Pokal (2): 2013–14, 2015–16

DFL-Supercup (2): 2016, 2017

UEFA Super Cup: 2013

FIFA Club World cup: 2013


Manchester City:


Premier League (3): 2017–18, 2018–19, 2020-21, 2021-22

FA Cup (1): 2018–19

EFL Cup (4): 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2020-21

FA Community Shield (3): 2018, 2019, 2021

3.     Personal Accolades

Personal accolades are one way to measure how good a manager is. They reflect the recognition and respect that a manager receives from his peers and the media for his work. Both Mourinho and Guardiola have won several individual awards throughout their careers.

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Here are some of the Personal Accolades won by Jose Mourinho:

Onze d’Or Coach of the Year: 2005

FIFA World Coach of the Year: 2010

IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach: 2004, 2005,2010, 2012

IFFHS World’s Best Coach of the 21st Century 2001–2020

Premier League Manager of the Season: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2014–15

Serie A Coach of the Year: 2008–09,[348] 2009–10

Serie A Coach of the Month: August 2022

Panchina d’Oro: 2009–10

Miguel Muñoz Trophy: 2010–11, 2011–12

UEFA Manager of the Year: 2002–03, 2003–04

UEFA Team of the Year: 2003,2004, 2005, 2010

World Soccer Magazine World Manager of the Year: 2004, 2005,2010

World Soccer 3rd Greatest Manager of All Time: 2013

ESPN 9th Greatest Manager of All time: 2013

France Football 13th Greatest Manager of All time: 2019

European Coach of the Year – Alf Ramsey Award: 2010

BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award: 2005

La Gazzetta dello Sport Man of the Year: 2010

International Sports Press Association Best Manager in the World: 2010

Prémio Prestígio Fernando Soromenho: 2012

Football Extravaganza’s League of Legends (2011

Globe Soccer Awards Best Coach of the Year: 2012

Globe Soccer Awards Best Media Attraction in Football: 2012

Portuguese Coach of the Century: 2015

PFA Portuguese Manager of the Year: 2017


Here are some of the Personal Accolades won by Pep Guardiola:


Don Balón Award: 2009, 2010

Miguel Muñoz Trophy: 2008–09, 2009–10

Onze d’Or Coach of the Year: 2009, 2011, 2012

World Soccer Magazine World Manager of the Year: 2009, 2011

World Soccer Magazine 5th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2013

France Football 5th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2019

ESPN 18th Greatest Manager of All Time: 2013

IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach: 2009, 2011

European Coach of the Year—Alf Ramsey Award: 2011

European Coach of the Season: 2008–09

UEFA Team of the Year Best Coach: 2008–09, 2010–11

La Liga Coach of the Year: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

FIFA World Coach of the Year: 2011

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Globe Soccer Awards Coach Career Award: 2013

Globe Soccer Awards Coach of the Century: 2020

Premier League Manager of the Season: 2017–18, 2018–19,2020–21

LMA Manager of the Year: 2017–18, 2020–21

League Managers Association (LMA) Hall of Fame

4.     Mourinho vs Guardiola Head to Head

They have faced each other 25 times in different competitions, with Guardiola having the upper hand over Mourinho. Guardiola has won 12 games, drawn six, and lost seven against Mourinho. He has also scored 45 goals and conceded 33 against his nemesis.

Their first meeting was in 2010 when Mourinho’s Inter Milan defeated Guardiola’s Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

– The 2010 Champions League semi-final, where Mourinho’s Inter knocked out Guardiola’s Barcelona on away goals after a 3-2 aggregate score. Inter went on to win the treble that season.

– The 2010-11 La Liga season, where Guardiola’s Barcelona won the title by four points over Mourinho’s Real Madrid. The two teams met four times in 18 days, with Barcelona winning three and drawing one. The most infamous game was the Copa del Rey final, where Mourinho poked Guardiola’s assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye during a brawl.

– The 2011-12 La Liga season, where Mourinho’s Real Madrid ended Barcelona’s dominance by winning the title with a record-breaking 100 points. Real also beat Barcelona 2-1 at Camp Nou for the first time under Mourinho.

– The 2013 UEFA Super Cup, where Guardiola’s Bayern Munich beat Mourinho’s Chelsea on penalties after a 2-2 draw. It was their first meeting since leaving Spain.

– The Manchester derbies between Guardiola’s City and Mourinho’s United from 2016 to 2018. Guardiola won four out of six games against Mourinho in this period. But Mourinho did record an incredible 3-2 win away at Man City as his United team trailed 2-0 at half-time


5.     Conclusion

It’s difficult to say definitively whether Mourinho is better than Guardiola or vice versa, as both have their unique strengths and weaknesses. Mourinho is a master tactician, capable of devising game plans that can stifle even the most potent of attacks. Guardiola, on the other hand, is a genius in terms of attacking play and is known for his ability to develop young players and improve their skills.


Both Mourinho and Guardiola have had successful careers as football managers, and their achievements and styles of play have contributed significantly to the sport. Ultimately, the debate about who is better will continue for years to come, but what is clear is that both are exceptional in their own right, and their contributions to football will not be forgotten.

Who is better? Comment and let us know.

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