The suspense of the last 24 hours is over. Pep Guardiola and the club have confirmed that the 41-year old manager after leading the first team for four years and in course winning 13 titles including two UEFA Champions League will not renew his contract with the club after the conclusion of the season. At a press conference held at Camp Nou, president Sandro Rosell, sports director Andoni Zubizarreta and manager Josep Guardiola gathered to make the announcement. Barcelona captains Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Victor Valdes and Andres Inietsa were also in attendance along with other Barça players like Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique.
Guardiola will be succeeded by his assistant, Tito Vilanova, who will take over coaching duties from July 1, 2012.
Guardiola spoke to the players before the training session explaining to them the reasons for his departure. Football pundit Guillem Balague said on Sky Sports that Guardiola is most likely to take a year off and even added the name of Arsene Wenger to the list of candidates who could replace the Catalan.
totalBarca wishes Pep Guardiola all the best for his future endeavours and thanks him for making cules see some of the best football in the club’s history and experience four glorious years simultaneously.
More updates to follow.
Image credit: AP Photo/Michael Probst