Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have been at war for a decade now.
The spoils at stake? Modern football’s soul.
On one hand we have a disciple of Johan Cruyff, a believer in the all-conquering power of the beautiful game.
His nemesis embraces the dark arts — a purveyor of undeniably effective anti-football.
It’s like the Jedi vs the Sith, though we would never dare say which is which.
Who are we kidding, obviously Mourinho is evil.
As two of the most-decorated coaches in history, both have managed a host of legends during their respective careers to date.
But whose ultimate XI is better?
GUARDIOLA’S ALL-TIME XI
Some extraordinary tough calls here.
Philipp Lahm or Dani Alves? Robert Lewandowski or Sergio Aguero?
A load of Guardiola favourites haven’t made the cut — Sergio Busquets, David Silva, Thomas Muller…
Even the bench would be an embarrassment of riches.
MOURINHO’S ALL-TIME XI
Choosing between Iker Casillas, Petr Cech, Julio Cesar and David De Dea made us realise how ridiculously good Mourinho’s keepers have been.
We edged it to De Gea, partly because his efforts last season were superhuman and partly because no other Man United player got a look in…
Sergio Ramos starts from the bench because Ricardo Carvalho was immense under Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Real Madrid — he simply had to make the first XI.
Mesut Ozil peaked under Mourinho but we felt Wesley Sneijder deserved the No10 role, he did inspire Inter to a treble after all.
The strike partnership is truly devastating — imagine how many goals they would score together, the dynamic is perfect.
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So, who would win?
Typically, Mourinho’s side appears incredibly functional, a purpose-built XI intent on world domination.
While Guardiola’s boasts a surplus of inspiration and artistic wonder.
It’s all very immovable object vs irresistible force.
We’re envisaging Ronaldo and Drogba pulling onto the full-backs and beating them in the air at the back posts.
Plus, without Busquets for cover, Pep’s midfield may leave space for Sneijder and Lampard to exploit.
However, will Mourinho’s side even have that much of the ball?
Xavi, Iniesta and De Bruyne could pass any team to death on their day.
Zanetti and Cole are about as disciplined and defensively sound as the come, but when there is no real answer to the pace and dribbling of Henry and Messi.
Oh, we don’t know.
This was supposed to be a bit of fun and now it’s annoying us.
We’ll leave it to you to decide.
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