Pep Guardiola has outlined his intentions to leave Manchester City in 2023 when his contract expires and take up the position as head coach of a national team.
The Catalan tactician has been at the Etihad helm since 2016 and has a further two years left on his present deal in the North West, winning unprecedented domestic silverware during his five-year reign so far.
He has managed two of the sport’s biggest clubs outside of England in Barcelona and Bayern Munich, forming some of the greatest-ever sides witnessed in club football, including his Lionel Messi-inspired 2008/09 treble winners.
Having seen it all and won it all at club level, the 50-year-old has now revealed his intentions to walk away from City when his contract expires in 2023 and dip his managerial toes into international football, admitting he “would like to coach in a European Championship, a Copa America, or a World Cup”.
“The next step will be a national team, there is a possibility. International football is the next step,” Guardiola told an XP Investimentos event.
“I would need a break after seven years [at City], I need to stop and look around, learn from other coaches, and I might take that road. I would like to coach in a European Championship, a Copa America, a World Cup.”
When quizzed about the potential of managing Brazil, he responded: “They are a fantastic team.
“I’ve already worked with some of their players, and competed against others.
“A fantastic national team, Brazil is always a strong candidate or the favourite [for trophies]. Always has been and always will be.”
Will Pep ever join football’s ‘select six’?
Were Guardiola to move across to international management rather than test his luck in a new league then he would be passing on the opportunity to join an exclusive club of just six managers who have won the title across four separate divisions.
Those who have championed four separate leagues include Jose Mourinho, who has won titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain, Tomislav Ivic (Yugoslavia, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, France), Ernst Happel (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria), Giovanni Trapattoni (Italy, Germany, Portugal, Austria), Eric Gerets (Belgium, Netherlands, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar) and Carlo Ancelotti (Italy, England, France, Germany).
Of course, Guardiola could head down the Vicente del Bosque/Roberto Mancini/Rinus Michels route by winning decorated silverware at club level, before leading his nation to international success. Given Guardiola’s reputation and tactical credentials, you wouldn’t rule out either possibility.