Monday, May 7, 2012

Guardiola Retires !

From :

Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola has confirmed on Friday he will be leaving his position as Barcelona coach in the summer. His contract was due to expire at the end of June and he informed the players at training that he would not be extending his stay at the Nou Camp.

At the club’s request he promised to give it further thought but emerged with the same decision. Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has announced that Guardiola’s assistant Tito Vilanova will become first-team coach for next season.

The 41-year-old rose through the ranks at FC Barcelona, making 263 first-team appearances as a defensive midfielder for the Catalan side from 1990-2001. He retired as a player in 2006 and soon after became Barcelona B coach.

On May 8 2008 Guardiola replaced Frank Rijkaard as first-team coach. In his first full season in charge, his Barcelona side completed the treble of La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the Champions League.

He has led Barcelona to two Champions League crowns, three La Liga titles, one Copa Del Rey, three Supercopas, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups in his four-year tenure. Guardiola received the FIFA World Coach of the Year 2012 back in January.

Barca’s current campaign season has come up agonisingly short in the past week after the Catalan giants were beaten by Chelsea on Tuesday in the Champions league semi-final, on the back of Real Madrid’s 2-1 win at the Nou Camp in La Liga which left Barcelona seven points behind Jose Mourinho’s men with four games remaining. Chelsea (17/10) will now play FC Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, with Bayern priced as 4/9 to lift the trophy at their home ground, the Allianz Arena.

Guardiola said: “I would like you to understand that this is not an easy decision for me. But I would like to explain my reasons for this decision.

“I have always wanted short-term contracts. Four years is an eternity as Barca coach. I have given everything and I have nothing left and need to recharge my batteries,” he added.

At a press conference, President Sandro Rosell said: “We have called you today to announce that Pep Guardiola will not continue in charge of the team next season.

“Thank you Pep for all the happiness you have brought us and for bringing a model of football that can never be questioned.”