The one blemish of his playing days came with his one-year sojourn in Italy, after he left Barcelona in April 2001 to sign a contract with Serie A club Brescia. The adventure was disrupted when he tested positive for nandrolone after a league match against Piacenza a month later.
Related ArticlesBosingwa: I don't fear MessiPaper View: Chelsea set for Messi and CoBarcelona v ChelseaDaily Bung: Messi just the leading man in cast of starsCatalans love to hate ChelseaBarca's perfect 10Guardiola was protested his innocence and decided to go through the courts to clear his name after being banned for four months. He eventually won his case in Oct 2007.
The one doubt over him concerns his inexperience, at least in the dug-out. His only previous coaching position prior to succeeding Frank Rijkaard was with the Barcelona 'B' team, but he proved his credentials in that job by guiding his players to promotion in his first season.
Guardiola's Barcelona endured a rare wobble last Saturday, as they headed for a first league defeat in eight before an 85th-minute goal by Thierry Henry sealed a 2-2 draw with Valencia.
Guardiola has shown no regard for personalities at the Nou Camp, dispatching such eminent names as Ronaldinho, Deco and Gianluca Zambrotta in seeking to impose a stronger work ethic. Nonetheless his intimate association with the club and closeness in age to his squad has earned him great popularity in the dressing room.
Guardiola outlined Barcelona's shared philosophy on the eve of the Chelsea clash.
"Barca is obliged to play an attractive game and there is no other way I know for us to play," he said. "[The game] is a big chance for us to show the world our style and we will be trying to seduce with our way of playing.
"Our principles are not for renouncing and we will never give them up as long as I am coach."