Pep Guardiola ends reign as Barcelona coach

Pep Guardiola will stand down as Barcelona manager at the end of the season after deciding not to renew his rolling one-year contract.

The 41-year-old, who made 479 appearances for Barca between 1990 and 2001, was appointed in 2008 and has led the Catalan club to 13 trophies.

But they look set to miss out to Real Madrid in La Liga and were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea.

It is understood that Guardiola will take a year-long break from the game.

An 1230 BST news conference has been called at the Nou Camp, where he is expected to explain the decision.

Guardiola spent three hours with Barca president Sandro Rosell on Thursday and informed his players on Friday morning.

He is the most successful coach in Barca history, with three league titles, two Champions Leagues and a Copa del Rey among his haul.

The former Spain midfielder has overseen the rise of three-time world player of the year Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, whilesigning Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal.

Guardiola was particularly close to Messi – describing him as “the best ever” player – while the Argentina forward suggested Guardiola was the main factor behind Barca’s recent success.

During talks which took place at Rosell’s home in the city, Guardiola is thought to have said that he “could not go on”.

What began as discussions over an extension to his deal soon turned into a push to keep Guardiola at the club.

Rosell is understood to have offered Guardiola unlimited spending power this summer but the Catalan did not base his decision on money.

Guardiola, a former Barca captain, has always maintained he would do what was best for the club.

BBC Sport

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17855980

About Marc Leprêtre

Marc Leprêtre is researcher in sociolinguistics, history and political science. Born in Etterbeek (Belgium), he lives in Barcelona (Spain) since 1982. He holds a PhD in History and a BA in Sociolinguistics. He is currently head of studies and prospective at the Centre for Contemporary Affairs (Government of Catalonia). Devoted Springsteen and Barça fan…
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