Barcelona’s Guardiola decides to step away
Barcelona, Spain (AHN Sports) – Pep Guardiola’s successful run at Barcelona is coming to an end.
Guardiola announced Friday that he is stepping down as manager of the Spanish giants, ending a run of four stellar seasons that saw the dominant club bring home 13 trophies.
Guardiola’s last game will be the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on May 25. Assistant Tito Vilanova has been tabbed to take over next season.
“The reason is simple, four years are long and they wear you down,” Guardiola said. “I think that sincerely that the next person will have things to bring that I can’t.”
A former Spain international player, Guardiola guided Barcelona to Champions League wins in 2009 and 2011 as well as three straight Spanish league titles, won two Club World Cups, two European Super Cups, three Spanish Super Cups and one Copa del Rey.
The 41-year-old Guardiola took over for Frank Rijkaard at the beginning of the 2008-09 season. He said he made his decision to move on in December but didn’t want to distract the club.
“Every day during four years, the demands are very high, the pressure, the necessary energy to push the players and enjoy it,” Guardiola said. “I need to rest and move away.”