Who doesn’t know Josep “Pep” Guardiola i Sala, Barcelona’s football club coach? Now, let’s meet his wife: Cristina Serra.
The couple met 20 years ago in a clothing store called Sierra-Claret, located in Manresa, Spain, and owned by Serra’s parents. The store is now managed by Cristina and her sister. Guardiola was only 18-years-old when he came to the store since he was modeling for the Spanish designer Antonio Miro.
Many people agree that Guardiola’s sense of style is because of her wife. One of her employee’s stated:
“She likes her work, Guardiola comes to meet her at the end of the day and they always try to spend time with their children.”
Guardiola has always fought to keep his wife off the media, he is very protective of her, and Cristina is very discrete as well, she has the gift of going unnoticed.
Cristina and Guardiola like to live a very private life. They live in a beautiful neighborhood located in the upper part of Barcelona, and as neighbors they have Ainhoa Arteta, Cesc Fàbregas, among others. They have three children: Marius (10 years old), Maria (8 years old), and Valentina (4 years old). The latter was born the same day, on May 6th, 2008, that Cristina and her husband received the news that he would be Barcelona’s new coach. Mr. Laporta sent Matra (Barcelona squad and Guardiola’s close friend) to congratulate him over Valentina’s birth at Dexeus clinic, at the same time he gave them the happy news.
Cristina, like her husband, is passionate over fashion, book, poetry, architecture and photography. One of their neighbors describes Cristina:
“She is a very normal person, modern but simple, I never would have thought she was Guardiola’s wife when I first met her”.
His lovely wife Cristina has been a constant support and company throughout his professional career, she has become not only just a loving, caring and dedicated wife and mother, but also his most valuable treasure. She was of great support to Pep when the football player was accused of doping, and she was the one who defended him before the media. This was the first and last time Cristina spoke with the Press. She also left her business for a while to be with her husband when he had to travel to Mexico and Qatar.
Josep Guardiola started playing professionally at age 13 but it wasn’t until 1990 that he joined the squad at Barcelona in the Liga A, he left Barça in 2001, playing later on for teams like Roma, Brescia and Sinaloa (Mexico) where he also was a coach for a soccer team in Puebla, his retirement came in 2006. Then he succeeded Frank Rijkaard as Barcelona’s coach.
In his first season as manager, Barça won the treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the Champions League. In doing so, Guardiola became the youngest UEFA Champions League-winning manager ever.
Now, Pep will succeed Jupp Heynckes as Bayern Múnich’s coach when Heynckes’ contract expires on June 30th, 2013. This club has named Guardiola their coach for three years starting this year. He had been available since June 2012 when he ended his stage in FC Barcelona. During this time, he had been enjoying his life with his family in New York.