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How a six-month spell in Mexico set Pep Guardiola on road to coaching greatness | Duncan Tucker

Manchester City’s manager made only 10 appearances for Dorados de Sinaloa in 2006 but his coaching education took a great leap forward there

The city of Culiacán in north-west Mexico, best known as the bastion of the notorious Sinaloa cartel fronted by the billionaire drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, was an unlikely place for Manchester City’s new manager, Pep Guardiola, to begin the process that would culminate in him becoming the world’s most sought-after coach.

Baseball, not football, has long been the most popular sport here and the newly founded local side Dorados de Sinaloa were minnows locked in a desperate relegation struggle when Guardiola, who turned 35 that month, arrived in January 2006.

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