Guardiola’s students are already teachers (Toni Padilla)


After playing for Olot and Guíxols, Domènec Torrent (Santa Coloma de Farners, 1962) coached Palafrugell, where one of the players caught his eye. It was Carles Planchart. Once the Arbucienc hung up his boots, he formed a tandem with Torrent on the benches of clubs such as Palafrugell, Palamós and Girona. Until they got the chance to sign for Barça, where Pep Guardiola enlisted them in his coaching staff to start the adventure as a coach of the Barça subsidiary in the Third Division. It was 2007 and in the first game, at the Premià field, they did not pass the tie without goals. “I learned a lot in Tercera. And having the Dome by my side was key, because he knew every field, every rival “, Guardiola would explain. Thirteen years later, Domènec Torrent has landed in Rio de Janeiro to lead one of the largest clubs in the world, Flamengo, the club with the most fans in Brazil, the team of Zico, Romário and Junior. The team that plays in Maracanà.

For more than a decade, Torrent has won titles with Barça, Bayern and Manchester City as Guardiola’s assistants, who continue to blindly trust Planchart as a rival analyst. Arbúcies, together with the physical trainer Lorenzo Buenaventura, is one of the last survivors of Guardiola’s coaching staff, who has made few changes throughout his career. But the men he has chosen to have by his side, to listen to them and learn from them, have made a career out of it. “I have to thank Guardiola for everything he has done for me, if I came here it’s thanks to him,” said Mikel Arteta this weekend after winning his first coaching title, the English Cup with Arsenal. . In the semi-finals he had eliminated Manchester City, where he had worked until a few months earlier. “He is creating something special at Arsenal,” said Guardiola. The same week Torrent lands at Flamengo and Arteta lifts the oldest tournament in the world.

Munic, Manchester, New York i ara, Rio de Janeiro

But Guardiola’s first coach was Tito Vilanova, who took over the Barça bench when the Santpedor coach decided to leave in 2012 after winning 14 titles in just four years. Vilanova was able to win the League, but an illness took him away shortly afterwards, cutting a career that seemed destined for success. Without Vilanova, it was Torrent, who until then was an analyst, who became Guardiola’s second coach when he arrived at Bayern after a sabbatical year. “Pep asked us to work with him and it wasn’t until after half an hour of talking about his ideas that he asked us why we hadn’t asked him which club it was. We already had enough of having the confidence to form a team with him “, Planchart explained to ARA a few years ago. And from Bavaria to Manchester, where Torrent was the second coach until 2018, when he decided to regain his career as head coach. He had not done so since an adventure at Girona in 2006. After winning the English league reaching 100 points, “he began to think that new challenges were needed and he had received offers”. “That’s when Patrick Vieira stopped being the coach of New York City, a club that belongs to the same group, and opened the door,” Torrent told ARA. After 10 years together, they parted ways, although Guardiola went to see him in action in New York with a City to which he made conference champion, with the team’s record of points in the regular season. But in the quarterfinals of the play-off fell to FC Toronto and Torrent decided to end that adventure and broke contractually with the Manchester City group. It was months in which he came to negotiate with Girona, but he has finally accepted the Flamengo challenge, where he takes two more Catalans, Jordi Guerrero, who was Pablo Machín’s assistant at Girona, and Jordi Gris.

Once Torrent left City in 2018, Mikel Arteta became Guardiola’s second coach. The two had met at La Masia and had kept in touch. Guardiola recruited him to strengthen his coaching staff once Arteta retired from Arsenal in 2016, first as an analyst and then in 2018 as a second coach. But in 2019 Arteta received an offer he could not refuse: coach the club where he had played for five years, Arsenal, where he has already successfully imposed his style of offensive play.

Guardiola, then, has been left with a coaching staff made up of 71-year-old English veteran Brian Kidd, Rodo Borrell, who has been in England for many years, and also 54-year-old Juanma Lillo, a coach Guardiola has always defined as one of his teachers, and whom he has brought from China, where he was training. Guardiola, then, has run out of students. They have already flown from the nest and are succeeding.


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