As the Catalan faces old boys Barcelona in the Champions League, Greg Lea looks at previous encounters between managers and their most well-associated ex-clubs. Turns out they won't let him win easily: who'd have thought?
1. Sir Alf Ramsey, Ipswich 5-2 Birmingham
The trip back to Portman Road may have been an emotional one for the 57-year-old, but his former side did not let sentimentality prevent them from thrashing the Blues 5-2.
After 11 years in charge of England, a spell that included the victorious World Cup campaign on home soil in 1966, Ramsey decided that the best way to round off a highly successful managerial career was with a Birmingham team who'd finished 17th, 19th and 13th in the 22-team First Division for the three years before his appointment.
Ramsey only lasted six months, resigning in March 1978 because of ill health, but did manage to squeeze in a reunion with Ipswich, the club he led from the third tier to the first in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The trip back to Portman Road may have been an emotional one for the 57-year-old, but his former side didn't let sentimentality prevent them from thrashing the Blues 5-2.
2. Brian Clough, Nottingham Forest 3-0 Derby
There aren’t many people who are loved on both sides of the Derby-Nottingham football divide, but then Clough was no ordinary person. After his stunning exit from the Baseball Ground in 1972, a bizarre eight-month stint at third-tier Brighton and the infamous 44 days at Leeds, Clough returned to the East Midlands to take charge of Forest in 1975, finishing 8th in his first full season and then winning promotion to the First Division in his second.
His first meeting with Derby came just a few days into the 1977/78 campaign, with newly promoted Forest’s 3-0 win setting them on the path to one of the most extraordinary title successes in the history of English football.
3. Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool 2-1 Blackburn
Two and a half years later, Dalglish had his hands on another league title – this time at Ewood Park – becoming only the fourth man to lead two different clubs to top-flight championships in English football history.
Most Liverpool fans old enough to have seen Dalglish play maintain he’s the greatest footballer who ever pulled on the red shirt, with the Scot winning five league titles and three European Cups in his first 12 years at the club. Dalglish then became player-manager in 1985 as he began to wind down his playing career at the age of 34, spending a further six years on Merseyside before going on to coach Blackburn, Newcastle and Celtic.
His first game at Anfield as an opposing manager came in December 1992, when Dalglish’s promoted Blackburn outfit fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat thanks to a brace from Mark Walters. Two-and-a-half years later, Dalglish had his hands on another league title – this time at Ewood Park – becoming only the fourth man to lead two different clubs to top-flight championships in English football history.
4. Pep Guardiola, Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich
He's been here before. Guardiola created arguably the best club side of all time during his four years at Barcelona, but his return to the Camp Nou in May 2015 wasn't a particularly happy one – the Catalan’s Bayern Munich went down 3-0 to the La Liga leaders in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Pep, who admitted in the build-up to the game that it was “special” to be going back home, was given a good reception by the majority of supporters present in the stadium, but Barça progressed to the final 5-3 on aggregate.
5. George Graham, Arsenal 3-0 Leeds
Graham made over 200 appearances for Arsenal as a player and won two league titles, an FA Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup after taking the reins in 1986. His nine-year spell in the dugout ended in ignominy as the Scot was sacked for taking a bung, but Graham was still received positively when he returned to Highbury with Leeds in September 1996.
A 3-0 win for the hosts was Arsene Wenger’s first home victory, with Arsenal going on to win the league the following season as Graham’s Leeds finished 5th.