By 90Min
August 17, 2017

Pep Guardiola's inclusion on the 12-man shortlist for Best FIFA Men's Coach on Thursday afternoon has made a mockery of the award intended to celebrate the very best in coaching achievements the world has had to offer over the last 12 months.

Upon his arrival last summer, Guardiola's City were instantly made firm favourites to sweep the Premier League, the club was targeting progress in the Champions League, and the most optimistic fans even had their eyes on an unprecedented quadruple.

None of that happened. City finished third in the Premier League without ever seriously being in the title race, fell out of Europe at the Last 16 stage, and ended the season without a trophy of any kind.

It was the first season in his career to date that Guardiola hasn't lifted at least one trophy, and yet he is still considered to have been one of the 12 best coaches in the world last season. It is laughable.

There can be no mistaking that Guardiola is one of the very best coaches of all time, look no further than his collection of medal and silverware for evidence of that. But 2016/17 was a failure for him and he has no place anywhere near the list for Best FIFA Men's Coach this year.

Others who didn't make the cut are arguably far more deserving.

Bournemouth finished 9th in the Premier League in 2016/17. Given budgets, targets and recent history, surely what Eddie Howe did with the Cherries is a far greater achievement than anything Guardiola did for City.

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Similarly, in Germany, Ralph Hasenhuttl took RB Leipzig to second place and an automatic Champions League place in their first ever season of top flight football. Regardless of gripes about their ownership and finances, that is still a huge achievement.

Over at Hoffenheim, Julian Nagelsmann steered the club into the Champions League playoff round for the first time in their history, didn't lose a single league game until late January, and went unbeaten at home all season. But Guardiola's 'achievements' are deemed better.

ISSOUF SANOGO/GettyImages

Even though FIFA represents and recognises the global level, Brazil national team coach Tite is the only shortlisted coach currently working outside Europe. That means no place on the list for Hugo Broos, the Cameroon coach who in 2017 guided the Indomitable Lions to their first Africa Cup of Nations triumph in 15 long years and eight tournaments. Guardiola is 'better'.

Guardiola is on the shortlist for Best FIFA Men's Coach through fame alone. He is an intelligent and kind man, one would expect he's actually rather embarrassed to be on it.

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