Pep Guardiola has confirmed that he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season.
Guardiola has enjoyed great success at the Camp Nou since he was promoted in the summer of 2008 from his role in charge of the Barcelona B side. Under his leadership, Barca won the league title in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Champions League in 2009 and 2011 and the Copa del Rey in 2009.
However, he has been loath to make a long-term commitment to Barca, signing only one-year contract extensions amid fears of burnout in the face of the intense pressure the role attracts.
Following a week in which Barca suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Real Madrid - effectively ceding the title to their rivals - and then a 3-2 aggregate loss to Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals, Guardiola told the board on Thursday that he was not prepared to extend his contract. The players were informed of his decision during training on Friday morning and a formal announcement followed in a press conference attended by Guardiola and the squad.
President Sandro Rosell introduced the conference by saying: "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. The thanks from everybody at Barcelona will be eternal for the best manager in the history of the club."
Guardiola, explaining his decision, apologised for the uncertainty over his future in recent months.
"I've always wanted short contracts because the pressure at Barcelona is so big," Guardiola said. "I always thought that four years is an eternity for a coach.
"In October, I announced to the president and the director of football that I was seeing the end of my era. I don't have any energy left. I need to recharge.
"It would not have been a good thing - for either me or the players - if I had continued. I leave with the feeling of a job well done. I'm proud to have been Barcelona's coach." http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1055344/pep-guardiola-confirms-barcelona-departure?cc=5739
Sad to see him go. He's built the greatest football team I have ever seen play in my entire life.