Pep Guardiola's greatest XI according to stats includes Leo Messi and Robert Lewandowski

Pep Guardiola had an illustrious career as a player but he’s had even more success as a manager.

With Barcelona, he created one of the best teams of all-time and won 14 major trophies during his four-year spell.

He’s since gone on to have great success at both Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Guardiola has managed a whole host of world-class players during his managerial career.

But who gets into his ultimate XI? 

WhoScored have looked at the stats and they’ve named the greatest XI that have played under Guardiola.

All stats are taken from their league performances under Guardiola. It doesn’t include cup performances.

GK: Manuel Neuer – 6.87

Neuer was the best goalkeeper in the world when Guardiola was at the helm between 2013-2016.

The German stopper is rated better than Ederson and Victor Valdes.

RB: Dani Alves – 7.63

What a player. Alves was the greatest right-back in the world with Guardiola at the helm.

He is statistically the best defender to ever play under the Spanish manager.

CB: Jerome Boateng – 7.21

Boateng became a key player under Guardiola at Bayern, which saw them win three straight Bundesliga titles.

CB: Javier Mascherano – 7.21

Now this is a surprise. Guardiola managed legendary Barcelona centre-backs in Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol.

But it was a player who he converted from defensive midfield to centre-back that makes the cut: Javier Mascherano.

LB: David Alaba – 7.24

No dramas here. Alaba is the only great left-back that Guardiola has managed during his career.

RM: Arjen Robben – 7.77

Persistent injuries meant Robben played more than 30 league games in just one of his 19 seasons as a professional.

Under Guardiola, he made 64 appearances, scoring 32 times and recording 14 assists.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne – 7.63

De Bruyne is now the best midfielder in the world.

He’s recorded 52 assists since Guardiola became Manchester City manager in 2016.

CM: Xavi – 7.56

During Guardiola’s four years as a manager, Xavi never recorded a pass accuracy of less than 90% in a single season.

Quite simply one of the best midfielders to ever do it.

LM: Franck Ribery – 7.85

Like Robben, injuries also plagued Ribery’s career and he was limited to just 50 league outings in Guardiola’s three seasons at Bayern.

But in that time, Ribery was one of the best wingers in that time and recorded 37 goal contributions.

CF: Lionel Messi – 8.77

Was there ever any doubt that Messi would make the team? In four league seasons the Argentine forward scored 115 times and recorded 44 assists.

No other player has an average rating of above 8 under Guardiola.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – 7.52

In 63 league games under Guardiola, Lewandowski scored 47 times and recorded seven assists. Not bad going.

What an XI. So the team comprises of six players from Bayern, four from Barcelona and one from Man City.

But there’s some massive omissions.

Ask anyone and they’d tell you that Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique would walk in to Guardiola’s greatest XI. But the stats prove otherwise.

Ederson, Sergio Busquets, Philip Lahm, Thiago, Yaya Toure, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Cesc Fabregas, Raheem Sterling, Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry, Sergio Aguero and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are other huge names that didn’t made the side. 

That just goes to show just how many incredible players Guardiola has managed in his career.

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