Pep Guardiola’s time in England may have only just begun, but the 45-year-old is already thinking about the end of his career in football management.
Despite being just six months into his three-year contract with Manchester City, Guardiola manager has hinted his current job could well be his last.
“I feel, and I am a little bit in the process, that I am at the end of my career,” Guardiola told NBC prior to Monday’s 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley.
“I will not be a trainer at 60 or 65 years old. I will be at Manchester City for three years, or maybe longer, but I am still approaching the end of my career as a manager — I am pretty sure of that.”
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson retired at the age of 71 and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, who is 67, has often spoken of his own anxiety about stepping away from life as a football manager.
“I met him recently and I said: “Alex, don’t you miss it?” Wenger told L’Equipe Sport and Style in 2015. “He said “not at all”. I was disappointed and comforted at the same time. It’s a reason to hope.”
After winning 14 major trophies in his four years as Barcelona manager, Guardiola took a year out from coaching and then joined Bayern Munich in 2013.
A further seven titles followed in his three years at the helm of the Bundesliga giant, before the Spaniard agreed to join Manchester City last February.
After beating Burnley 2-1 on Monday, City currently sits third in the Premier League, seven points behind leader Chelsea which plays its game in hand against Tottenham Wednesday.
City had to work hard for their win over Burnley after Fernandinho was red carded for the third time in six matches and Guardiola gave a tetchy interview to the BBC following the game
“You are the journalist, not me. Ask the referee,” said Guardiola when he was questioned about the Brazilian’s sending off.
When Guardiola was quizzed about Fernandinho’s disciplinary record, the City manager said: “I have to understand the rules here in England. I know you’re a specialist, but I have to understand it.”
Despite having qualified for the Champions League knockout stage, emphatically beating Barcelona along the way, Guardiola has regularly come in for criticism in his first season in English football.
So, once he hangs up his stylish skinny suit and the pressure of football management fades, what will one of the greatest coaches in history do with himself?
“If you are looking for me (after I retire), I will be on the golf course.”