HomeSportsPep Guardiola hasn’t been to the final in a decade. Really.

Pep Guardiola hasn’t been to the final in a decade. Really.

Chelsea Manager Thomas Tuchel was in the Champions League final last season, when he coached Paris St.-Germain. His center back Thiago Silva started for him that day.

But while Manchester City and Chelsea are annual fixtures in the competition, they (perhaps surprisingly) lack direct, or even recent, experience with the final. City’s Ilkay Gundogan has played in it. Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic has watched it from the bench. Twice.

But perhaps no one in today’s game is more associated with the game than Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City coach who started in it twice as a player and won it twice, spectacularly and memorably as the coach of Barcelona. What people forget is that despite all his (almost) all-conquering successes in later stops at Bayern Munich and more recently at City, Guardiola has not tasted the final since his last win with Barcelona in 2011.

Rory Smith wrote this week about his ambitions, his missteps and why this weekend has been such a long time coming.

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