Pep Guardiola

Having just qualified for the World Cup, you can expect England fans and especially media outlets to get carried away, thinking about winning the tournament. The fact that England were knocked out in the group stage in 2014 and have been to only one semi final since 1966 will not change their mind.

Arise the Pep Guardiola theory. What does Guardiola, the spanish (or Catalan, but that’s too much politics for our site) manager of Manchester City, who has worked at Barcelona and Bayern Munich but never for a national side, have to do with England winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia?

It has nothing to do with the England internationals he has under his wing at City – Kyle Walker, John Stones and Raheem Sterling.

The theory leans on the two winners of the previous World Cups, Spain (2010) and Germany (2014), and how it relates to the location of Guardiola’s job at the time.

In 2010, Guardiola was the manager of Barcelona, completing a 2nd consecutive La Liga title since taking the job from Frank Rijkaard. Spain, already the 2008 European champions, won in extra time via an Andres Iniesta goal, who played under Guardiola at the time. 7 players from Barcelona were on that team, including Xavi, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol and Sergio Busquets and others

Four years later, Guardiola was just finishing his first season as the manager of Bayern Munich, leading them to a championship. In the 2014 World Cup Germany won against Argentina, as the final once again went to extra time. The winning goal came from the legs of Mario Gotze, who was also playing under Guardiola at Bayern Munich. 7 Bayern players were in the Germany squad: Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller and Philipp Lahm and others.

Conclusion? Guardiola should still be the Manchester City manager by the time the 2018 World Cup rolls out. Based on the two previous tournaments, England isn’t only going to win the tournament, but a Manchester City player will score the winning goal, in extra time no less!

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