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SPAIN: AT BREAKING POINT? A political and economic analysis for 2013 IBERIANS OF THE YEAR: The most influential people and groups of 2012

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Pep Guardiola

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Pep Guardiola

He made his name as a midfield general for FC Barcelona in the 1990s. But Guardiola’s true calling, it seems, is getting the best out of players as their coach. In his first season in top-flight football management, Guardiola led Barça to the Champions League, Copa del Rey and Liga titles – losing his hair in the process. In the two seasons since, he has won a pair of league titles and the European crown again, relegating Real Madrid to also-ran status. Few soccer jobs are as intense or demanding, especially when you throw in the fact that FC Barcelona is a flagship for the restive Catalan nation. As a former Barça player and a Catalan, Guardiola knows this better than anyone, making his achievements -and humility- particularly impressive.