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Guardiola reflects on the heated Clasico rivalry with Mourinho: “He pushed me to another level”

Real Madrid’s Portuguese coach Jose Mour Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

11 years on, the scars, battle wounds, victories and defeats remain in the hearts of Madridistas from the most heated era of Clasicos (2010 - 2013) in the history of both Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The managers of both teams at that time, Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid) and Pep Guardiola (Barcelona) were part of a heated rivalry that was fuelled by both the managers and players, along with the contrasting styles of play of both sides and the repeated exposure to each other — including four Clasicos in 18 days at one point.

“All the education through sport, to me and my family came from Barcelona,” Guardiola said as he reflected on his ties with Barcelona and how his coaching career started. “I will never be grateful enough to Barcelona for what they have done for me. I lived there for four incredible years as a coach that I will never forget. They gave me an incredible experience. I wouldn’t change a second of what I experienced there”.

“Not even those 4 games in a row against Real Madrid..” Guadiola continued. “..Not even the previous years with Manuel Pellegrini... it was fantastic, I have incredible memories. My wish for Barcelona is always the best. It’s different. And the rivalry with José Mourinho was very good. I learned a lot about myself. I grew as a manager. He pushed me to another level as a manager. He pushed me to put the team on another level.”