Pep Guardiola signed a new deal to remain as Man City coach until 2021 on Thursday after a record-breaking season which saw the club run away with the Premier League title. Guardiola masterminded an historic campaign as City became the first side in English football history to achieve 100 points in a top-flight campaign, adding the title to their League Cup triumph.
The 47-year-old claimed his strong relationship with City’s vibrant young side had convinced him to extend his stay at the Etihad Stadium.
“I am so happy and excited. It’s a pleasure to be able to work here,” Guardiola said. “I enjoy working with our players every day and we will try to do our best together in the coming years. As a manager, you have to feel good to be with the players –- and I feel good.”
Guardiola had one season left on his City deal before signing the new two-year extension. If he completes the whole length of his new contract, Guardiola will have spent five years at City, longer than his time in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
The Spaniard left Barcelona after four seasons as manager to take a sabbatical and spent three years at Bayern before joining City in 2016. Throughout the second half of the season, Guardiola had said he did not intend to discuss his future until the summer. But City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners have given the green light to the improved terms within four days of City’s last game of the season – a 1-0 win at Southampton that took them to the 100-point milestone.
City scored 106 goals and claimed 32 wins, both Premier League records, with the only frustration their Champions League quarter-final exit against Liverpool. City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak saluted Guardiola’s ability to unify his squad of rising young talents and established stars.
“In his two seasons with us, he has fostered an incredible spirit within the squad and significantly contributed to our progress both on and off the field,” he said. “In doing so he has embodied the passion and commitment we all have for the club. I am very much looking forward to the continued impact of his work and to fulfilling our shared ambitions in the coming seasons.”
Guardiola arrived in Manchester boasting a glittering CV, including two Champions League crowns and three La Liga titles with Barca and three Bundesliga triumphs with Bayern. This season’s Premier League and League Cup triumphs have taken the number of trophies he has won as a manager to 23, burnishing his reputation even further.
Guardiola has won 77 of his 113 games in charge at City, a win ratio of more than 68 per cent. City’s 32 league wins this season are the most he has achieved in a single campaign, beating the 31 with Barcelona in 2009-10.
With his future settled, Guardiola has set his sights on leading City to sustained success over the next three years.
“I will focus on the desire of my players to become a better team and every day that’s what I will try to do –- to improve on the pitch and improve our players,” Guardiola added. “We have a young squad with an average age of 23 and we want to keep taking steps forward and maintain the levels we’ve achieved this season.”
Chief executive officer Ferran Soriano added: “Pep’s new contract extension is fantastic news for Manchester City. “We have all been privileged to witness how we have played beautiful football, won titles, broken records and reached the incredible mark of 100 Premier League points. Pep has shown this style can succeed in the Premier League in a way it has never been done before.”