Barcelona considered both Manchester City boss Guardiola and Manchester United manager Mourinho to succeed Frank Rijkaard back in the summer of 2008.
At the time, the Catalan giants were still reeling from losing out on the La Liga title to Real Madrid.
Guardiola was coaching Barcelona’s B team and had made a huge impact, steering them to the title in his one and only season at the club.
Mourinho, meanwhile, was unemployed having left Chelsea mere months previously.
The 55-year-old worked at the Nou Camp as a translator to Sir Bobby Robson before then helping out Louis van Gaal.
He delivered a powerpoint presentation to Barcelona chiefs where he laid out his blueprint.
But Pep Guardiola, ultimately, got the job. That decision paid off with the Spaniard steering them to the treble in his first season in charge.
And former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed they chose Guardiola because he was more in keeping with the club’s Cruyff philosophy.
“It was a long process because there were board members who wanted Jose,” he told the Daily Mirror.
“They argued that we needed a manager who would get results quickly.
“We wanted to stay faithful to Cruyff’s philosophy.
“I asked [the directors] if Pep was ready and both Txiki Begiristain and Johan, who saw him regularly, said he was.
“Mourinho’s agent [Jorge Mendes] called me and asked, ‘Are you going to appoint Mourinho, because if you are interested we need to talk,’ and I said to him, ‘No, Jorge, we’ve chosen Pep Guardiola’.”
Laporta also revealed that Guardiola vowed to win it all at the Nou Camp.
“I told Pep I wanted him to be the next manager,” Laporta added.
“We were having lunch and he said to me, half joking, ‘If you appoint me as coach I’ll win everything for you’. He honestly said that!”
Mourinho ultimately took the Inter Milan job, winning a treble of his own over in Italy.
And he will no doubt be eager to beat Guardiola when the duo locks horns in the Manchester derby on Sunday (4.30pm).