Richard Buxton: Pep's European hopes end as a pipe dream again
Guardiola has yet to lead a team into the final since winning 2011 title with Barca
Pep Guardiola's relationship with the Champions League now mirrors that of Manchester City's.
He has become increasingly detached from the competition that launched his coaching career.
That realisation should have finally dawned on the Catalan as his side crashed out of the quarter-finals 5-1 on aggregate at the hands of Liverpool yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Or perhaps it never will.
Leaving Barcelona after winning the 2011 title with them heralded the beginning of the end for Guardiola's continental stock.
It has plummeted to alarming depths since leaving Catalonia.
In 24 knock-out encounters since leaving Spain, Guardiola has won just 11; in four of his last five exits, his sides shipped a minimum of five goals across the two-legged affairs.
It is no coincidence that all those humiliations took place in the wake of his Nou Camp departure and, crucially, without the services of Lionel Messi to call upon in times of trouble.
Accusations of an excessive reliance on the Argentine talisman are often levelled at Barca and were once again resurrected in the wake of La Liga's leaders crashing out against AS Roma.
Yet Guardiola's European record has become symptomatic of "Messidependencia".
At Bayern Munich, he had Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller leading the attacking line in addition to a supporting cast which included Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery - and still the Bavarian side managed to ship 12 goals across three knock-out ties.
They lost 5-0 on aggregate to Real Madrid in 2014, and 5-3 to Barcelona the following season - both in the semis.
In 2016, his side were bundled out on away goals after drawing 2-2 on aggregate with Atletico Madrid, again in the last four.
That familiar pattern has continued into Guardiola's first two seasons at the Etihad Stadium; City shipped a goal less than Bayern's dubious record in one season fewer.
Last season, they bowed out on away goals after drawing 6-6 on aggregate with Monaco in the Round of 16, before this season's two-legged loss to Liverpool.
With arguably a better calibre of attackers, he still managed to produce the same, damning statistics. Playing rigidly to principle is his greatest weakness.
That obsession was supposed to deliver the culmination of City's £2 billion (S$3.7b) outlay and is almost a decade in the making.
Instead, it left them chasing a last-eight encounter which should have been theirs to own.
A long-awaited return of "tiki-taka" in its purest form, with City stringing together 200 passes in the first half-hour to Liverpool's 58, proved to be as short-lived as their overall fightback.
Guardiola's obsession with the finer details has worsened.
He now finds himself cast more as Jose Mourinho's equal in that respect, more so than his opposite number's antithesis.
Pouting high up in the stands and having outbursts at referees have also become reminiscent of the Manchester United manager in their execution.
Yesterday's match official Antonio Mateu Lahoz received the same treatment Guardiola meted out to Anthony Taylor when City were dumped out of the FA Cup by Wigan Athletic.
Total perfection is demanded of seemingly everyone other than himself.
What he did best at Barca was driven by an additional first-love motivation which cannot be replicated elsewhere.
Much as he would hate to admit it, Guardiola could learn something from his rivals.
One of Alex Ferguson's key principles for success was a continued emphasis on evolution. When all else had failed for the Old Trafford legend, he shifted his approach accordingly.
Guardiola, however, has never truly adapted; the principles which served him so well with Barcelona continue to succeed to a point, evidenced by his impending seventh domestic title in nine seasons, but not in the one competition that he craves.
Changing City's attitude towards the Champions League is no longer their overriding problem.