Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Chelsea legends all feature in incredible XI of players Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have managed
Nov. 19, 2020
Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola go head-to-head on Saturday evening – live on talkSPORT – as Tottenham host Man City in the Premier League.
Right now, both have got some incredible superstars in their ranks and they have managed some truly exceptional footballers during their time in the game, too.
Cristiano Ronaldo had some of his best years working under Mourinho at Real Madrid, while the Juventus superstar’s fierce rival Lionel Messi hit his prime under Guardiola .
With both managers plying their trade in three different countries in Europe, talkSPORT.com thought it’d be interesting to combine an all-star XI of players they have managed.
It was not an easy task. In fact, it’s almost impossible.
The list of superstars the two iconic managers have coached is endless. But who makes the cut and what formation would the team play?
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Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
Getting the nod between the sticks is Cech, who made his name as one of the Premier League’s greatest goalkeepers during his 11-year spell at Stamford Bridge.
The former Czech Republic international helped Chelsea to 13 major honours, but it was under Mourinho where he was in his prime, playing a vital role in a defence that conceded just 15 goals in the 2004/05 campaign.
Manuel Neuer, another true goalkeeping great, can count himself incredibly unlucky not to make the side after flourishing for Guardiola at Bayern Munich, winning three Bundesliga titles, the DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
Notable omissions: Manuel Neuer, Victor Valdes
Defence: Dani Alves, John Terry, Gerard Pique, David Alaba
Four absolutely colossal defenders make up the back line, with one coming from Mourinho and three from Guardiola’s managerial reigns, which might feel like a surprise.
Terry, who captained Chelsea in the most successful period of the club’s history, is a must-pick in the side for his brilliant role in helping the Blues boast one of the fiercest defences in Europe.
Partnering him in central defence was the imperious Pique, who rejoined Barca from Manchester United in 2008 and went on to win the treble in his first season under Guardiola and much more silverware thereafter.
Alves, officially the most decorated player in history, also has to be given a spot in the XI given his role in Guardiola’s dominant Barca side which won 14 trophies in four years, he dovetailed superbly with Messi on the right.
Current Bayern star Alaba completes the back four. The Austrian formed a devastating partnership with Franck Ribery on the left flank which saw three consecutive titles arrive at the Allianz Arena.
Notable omissions: Ashley Cole, Jerome Boateng, Ricardo Carvalho, Gerard Pique, Javier Zanetti, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Ramos
Midfield: Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Claude Makelele
Sergio Busquets is unlucky not to get the holding midfield spot, but Claude Makelele gets the nod simply because two Barcelona men make up the spots in front of him.
The Frenchman, who revolutionised the position during his time at Stamford Bridge, was an absolute rock in front of the impermeable Chelsea defence under Mourinho.
In front of the Blues man are two of the greatest midfielders of all time; Xavi and Iniesta.
Xavi, although not the most flashy to watch, was indisputably the most effective midfielder in the world and quite often out-passed whole teams by himself.
His attributes, coupled with with Iniesta’s remarkable dribbling ability and eye for an inch-perfect pass, formed what is widely considered the greatest midfield partnership the beautiful game has seen.
Notable omissions: Sergio Busquets, Wesley Sneijder, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil, Philip Lahm, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski
In a frightening front line, Messi and Ronaldo nail down spots in the XI for obvious reasons.
Messi, who has scored a remarkable 640 goals in 741 matches for the Catalans, was arguably in his prime under Guardiola.
In 2012, he hit unprecedented heights with 91 goals in a calendar year: 79 with Barça (59 in La Liga, 13 in the Champions League, 5 in the Copa del Rey and 2 in the Spanish Super Cup).
Ronaldo similarly enjoyed his three most prolific seasons in under the wing of his fellow Portuguese Mourinho, scoring an astonishing 168 goals in 164 games.
From Didier Drogba and Thierry Henry to Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane, an abundance of world class strikers have played for both Mourinho and Guardiola.
However, only one can be chosen and current Bayern ace Lewandowski has to get the nod.
The Pole, who was unfortunate not to win the Ballon d’Or in the COVID-hit 2020, was sensational for Guardiola in Germany, hitting 110 league goals in three Bundesliga seasons whilst the Spaniard was at the helm of Bayern Munich.
Notable omissions: Didier Drogba, Diego Milito, Karim Benzema, Sergio Aguero, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben
Guardiola and Messi won several trophies during their time together at Camp Nou
Mourinho and Guardiola’s Best XI
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