Five of the best players to have played for both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp

Five of the best players to have played for both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp

With a combined 38 titles, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are two of the best tacticians in modern football. They also have a total of four World’s Best Club Coach awards, with two each.

Manchester City has been transformed by Guardiola into one of Europe’s best teams, with a potential European treble on the cards this season.

Meanwhile, Klopp has cemented his place among Liverpool’s all-time greats after leading the Reds to their first league title in three decades last season.

Let’s take a look at five of the best players to have played for both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

Mario Gotze

Mario Gotze

In the early part of the decade, Mario Gotze was one of the biggest names in world football, helping Borussia Dortmund end Bayern Munich’s dominance.

The Germany international joined Borussia Dortmund as a teenager and made his senior debut in 2010 under Jurgen Klopp. He was a key figure in the club’s back-to-back league titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12, as well as their run to the 2013 Champions League finals.

In 116 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund, the current PSV Eindhoven forward was involved in 106 goals (45 goals, 61 assists).

When Gotze joined Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich for £35 million in 2013, there were high expectations for him.

The 28-year-old struggled under Pep Guardiola’s guidance, spending only three seasons at the club before returning to Signal Iduna Park. In 114 appearances for Bayern Munich, he still had 60 goal involvements.

Xherdan Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri

Bayern Munich signed the Switzerland international in the summer of 2012, a year before Guardiola arrived at the club. In two seasons under the Spaniard, he made 42 appearances before being loaned out to Inter Milan. In 2015, he was permanently sold.

After just over a month at Milan, Shaqiri signed with Stoke City, his first Premier League club.

Jurgen Klopp took over as Liverpool manager in 2015, and three years later, he signed Xherdan Shaqiri.

Shaqiri has won the Premier League and the Champions League during his time at the Merseyside club. He’s made 62 appearances for Liverpool and has a total of 17 goals to his name, including a memorable brace against Manchester United in his debut season.

Thiago Alcantara

Thiago Alcantara

Thiago played for Pep Guardiola on two occasions, the first of which was at Camp Nou, where he made his senior debut. In his first full season at the club, the two-time Champions League winner played only a minor role and failed to secure a starting spot the following season.

Thiago made 64 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona over four seasons, the majority of which were as a substitute.

During his time at Bayern Munich, the 30-year-old established himself as one of the best midfield operators. He played for the German champions for seven seasons, making 235 appearances. In Guardiola’s three seasons at the club, he only made 80 appearances.

Thiago joined Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at the start of the 2020-21 season, making 25 appearances in the process.

IIkay Gundogan

IIkay Gundogan

Unlike the majority of the players on the list, IIkay Gundogan has had tremendous success under both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, winning a total of 13 titles between the two managers.

Gundogan, who joined Signal Iduna Park as a 20-year-old, quickly established himself as a regular starter under Jurgen Klopp. In his first season with the club, the Germany international won the Bundesliga title, scoring four goals and providing four assists in 37 appearances.

Gundogan played 157 times for Dortmund over the next five seasons, contributing 35 goals (15 goals, 20 assists).

Gundogan has established himself as one of the first names in Manchester City’s star-studded starting XI following a career-threatening injury that kept him out for almost two seasons.

Under Pep Guardiola’s leadership, the German has been involved in 64 goals in 207 appearances (38 goals, 26 assists). With 16 goals and four assists in the club’s potential European treble-winning season, the two-time Premier League winner is arguably having his best season at the club.

Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski

When Borussia Dortmund signed Robert Lewandowski from Polish club Lech Poznan, he got his first real taste of European top-flight football under Jurgen Klopp.

In his first season in German football, Lewandowski scored eight goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances, demonstrating his immense potential. In the following 2011-12 season, the Poland international went from strength to strength, registering 32 goal involvements (22 goals, 10 assists).

Lewandowski was instrumental in Borussia Dortmund’s three consecutive Bundesliga titles, making them the only club other than Bayern Munich to do so in the last decade.

Despite Dortmund’s best efforts to keep hold of their star player, Lewandowski left on a free transfer to join Der Klassiker rivals Bayern Munich.

Under Pep Guardiola, the 32-year-old thrived, making 100 appearances in two seasons with the Spaniard. Under the Catalan coach, he scored 67 goals and added 19 assists in winning two Bundesliga titles in a row.


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