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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Pep Guardiola reveals shock retirement plans amid Man City struggles –

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed he will retire in a matter of months if his team successfully defends last season’s Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.

Guardiola has a contract at the Etihad Stadium until 2025 but surprisingly declared ahead of Wednesday night’s Premier League defeat to Aston Villa that he will walk away completely at the end of this campaign if City have won the treble for a second successive season.

“If we win the treble this season, I’ll retire. That’s for sure,” the Spaniard told Prime Video, perhaps serious, perhaps not. “I know it is extremely difficult, how many incredible teams have been in England and just one with Sir Alex Ferguson has done it and ourselves last season.”

After several years of Premier League dominance, City finally went all the way in the Champions League for the first time last season, sandwiching only Guardiola’s second FA Cup triumph in between their other successes for good measure.

City were just the second English club to complete the feat, matching Manchester United’s 1998/99 team. Guardiola had previously won the treble with Barcelona back in his very first season as a head coach at senior level, while Inter, Celtic, Ajax and Bayern Munich have done it over the decades.

But with sustained success in English football particularly difficult – City are currently chasing a fourth straight league title that has never been achieved in 135 years – it would arguably be an even greater achievement for Guardiola and his team to do the treble again in 2023/24.


The Premier League wheels are coming off for Man City this season / Visionhaus/GettyImages


No team, in England or abroad, has ever won the treble in consecutive seasons. Of those that have at least managed it twice, the second treble hasn’t even been within five years of the first.

Given that City are already struggling to match their previous Premier League dominance – the defending champions have won only three of their last nine games and are currently four without a win in the wake of this week’s defeat to Aston Villa – Guardiola may realise the chances of actually having to follow through on his retirement promise are slim and fading.

City are yet to start their defence of the FA Cup but will face Championship strugglers Huddersfield Town in the third round early next month.

As for the Champions League, they are one of only two sides in the competition along with Real Madrid to have won all of their opening five group games and are assured of a seeded place in the upcoming last 16 draw later this month before the final fixture next week has been played.


Every club that has won the treble

Season Club Manager Trophies
1966/67 Celtic Jock Stein Scottish Division One, Scottish Cup, European Cup
1971/72 Ajax Stefan Kovacs Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, European Cup
1987/88 PSV Eindhoven Guus Hiddink Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, European Cup
1998/99 Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League
2008/09 Barcelona Pep Guardiola La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League
2009/10 Inter Jose Mourinho Serie A, Coppa Italia, Champions League
2012/13 Bayern Munich Jupp Heynckes Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League
2014/15 Barcelona Luis Enrique La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League
2019/20 Bayern Munich Hansi Flick Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League
2022/23 Manchester City Pep Guardiola Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League

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