Madrid were a top 3 world side in 2010-11, managed by a younger Mourinho, finished 4 points behind Barcelona. Actually the Madrid of the season before (managed by Pellegrini) also finished 3 points behind Barcelona.No, i admit he faced a challenge and won for pretty much the first time in his entire career. Every other time he's failed or walked away.
It almost begs the question of what a challenge in football actually is. My cynical self expects an answer that conveniently casts Pep as a manager that's coasted his entire career, but maybe I'm wrong on that