Pep Guardiola’s decision to not extend his stay as manager of FC Barcelona brought in mixed reactions from his peers. Read what some of them had to say about Guardiola’s departure after the jump.
Vicente del Bosque, Spain football team manager
“Pep has made a decision as a Barcelona man and there is nothing to do but accept what he has done,” Del Bosque told EFE. ”He thinks that this is the best for him and for Barca. I understand him and I wish him the best.”
On Tito Vilanova’s appointment as Barca’s coach for 2012-13, Del Bosque said, ”I am no one to get involved with decisions that belong to clubs.”
Arsene Wenger, Arsenal FC manager
“It comes as a surprise to me because first of all when you make a decision after a big disappointment like he has had in the past week, it may not be the right moment to make this decision. The philosophy of Barcelona has to be bigger than winning or losing a championship.
“Guardiola is one of the representatives of this philosophy and made this philosophy triumph so I would have loved him, even going through a disappointing year, to stay and come back and insist with his philosophy. That would be interesting.”
“I can understand there are not many managers who work throughout a career without a breather. Maybe he has not shown the stress. Maybe it’s taken more than he has shown. You never know from the outside how deeply a man suffers from the inside.’
“I have heard he has come out and wants to have a break to reflect on the situation, which you can understand after a certain time.
“I decided the other way to never come out of a job, because it becomes second nature to cope with it. It becomes your life, but some people need to move out at some stage.”
Aitor Karanka, Real Madrid CF assistant coach
“The Spanish league has existed without Guardiola, Mourinho, Karanka… and it will continue to exist. Guardiola has won many titles and has earned great numbers.”
Hristo Stoickhov, former Barcelona player
“I’m sad. Today is a sad day,” he said to COM Radio. ”A Barca myth is gone, the last Mohican of the Cruyff era. We’ll never again have a coach capable of winning six titles in one year, which is practically impossible.”
Joan Gaspart, former president of Barca
“As a former president and a former Barcelona vice-president, I understand him. I know him very well and understand that Pep has made a decision he thinks is good for the club and for him. But as a FC Barcelona fan, the story is different: I do not like it. I do not like to think that in over 120 years of Barca’s history, this is the first time that a coach leaves us without the fans wanting him to leave,” he told COPE Barcelona.
“The new coach will be Tito Vilanova, not Pep Guardiola/Tito Vilanova. It will be a new coach, with his own personality. And Guardiola will surely wish that his friend Tito Vilanova becomes an even better coach than him, if possible.”
Marcelo Bielsa, Athletic Bilbao manager
“It’s a personal decision, obviously, [and] it’s not up to me to interpret it, but his departure is enormous because his presence gave a brilliance to this sport. What he has accomplished is unforgettable and is not lasting, a loss.”
Source: Soccerway, The Telegraph, www.realmadrid.com, BBC, Sport.es; Photo credit: REUTERS/Sergio Carmona/Files