sIt happened in June 2008. Pep Guardiola took charge of Bara B a year before. At that time, Barça's reserve team was in the Third Division, playing matches on dirt pitches and traveling by bus along the way. That month the season was played in direct elimination with Barbastro in the promotion play-off to Segundo B. The Blaugranas left him half-sentenced at their rival's ground with a 0-2 victory. Days later, they won again at the Mini Estadi 1-0, thus sealing promotion.

For Guardiola it was much more. By this time it was already known that Frank Rijkaard will leave the bank from the Barcelona team after four seasons. The Dutchman had won a Champions League, but his project was no longer worthwhile with two years to spare. For Laporta and Txiki Begiristain, Guardiola was the main candidate, but it was a very risky bet. His entire history as a coach was limited to that season at subsidiary Cul.

Guardiola and Laporta on the day of his presentation as coach of the reserve team.ALEJANDRO GARÇA

Risky decision

Their brilliant campaign culminated in promotion and led Barça leaders to take this decision. Laporta took a risk, even before rising through the ranks, and offered him the starting bench. And Guardiola accepted after assuring the president that He feels ready for the challenge. And from then on, everyone knows the story. Barcelona, ​​​​led by Guardiola and Leo Messi, became the best team in the world. During Pep's time, the team won two Champions Leagues and three Leagues and surprised everyone with their football.

Guardiola's challenge

“I understand the doubts you have, but in a month these doubts will subside. I feel like I'm prepared. Fasten your seatbelts, let's have fun“were Guardiola's first words as coach of the Barça first team on the day of his presentation.

Pedro and Busquets.

Pedro and Busquets.ADVANCED FRANCESC

The challenge of playing in the Third Division

Guardiola always remembers with I especially loved your time at the subsidiary. When they talk to him about the titles won during his time as coach, he gives special emphasis to this promotion to Segunda B. Because the Third Division was a totally different world from the one Pep knew as a player. Long bus rides, departures on land that are often impractical, without images of rival teams to study them… There he trained as a coach. In this team he had two players like Busquets and Pedro which will become international for Spain.

Return to Barbastro

Barbastro's emotion when he found out he would face Barcelona: “It's for our fans”.

Now the team will return to that field that was so important for Guardiola and also for the history of Barcelona. If they hadn't achieved promotion, he wouldn't have sat on the first-team bench and everything would have been different. However, he did it and from that moment on Barcelona became one of the greatest teams in the history of football.



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