Every hero needs a villain. In the case of Pep Guardiola’s time at Barcelona, old colleague Jose Mourinho never shied away from being the antithesis to the Spaniard on the field and in the world’s view. Barcelona’s goal was to control a game and Mourinho’s goal was not to take back that control, but instead to disrupt it. Some may try to wax poetic about just the tactics, but the storied history between two men that served under Louis van Gaal at Barcelona, one as a player and one as a coach, is about much more than what happened on the field.
While Guardiola and Mourinho may be the primary focus, this is a story not short on characters. Johan Cruyff, Louis van Gaal, Ronald Koeman and Lionel Messi all have a role to play in this tale of tactical titans. From Barcelona’s humbling of Manchester United to their loss to Mourinho’s Inter Milan, there are so many matches that aid in the narrative of Barcelona’s ascent to a global powerhouse revered a world over.
Journalist and author Jonathan Wilson joined the latest edition of The Barcelona Podcast to discuss his new book The Barcelona Legacy.
Find his new book The Barcelona Legacy here.
Also mentioned in this podcast are two other books by Wilson, Angels with Dirty Faces found here and Inverting the Pyramid found here.