Guardiola leaves Barcelona

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

First published in National Sport News © by

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has confirmed he will be leaving the club in the summer with his assistant Tito Vilanova confirmed as his replacement.

Guardiola's contract was due to expire at the end of June and he informed the players at training on Friday that he would not be extending his stay at the Nou Camp. Guardiola stepped up from Barca B manager to first-team boss in 2008 and has gone on to become the most successful coach in the club's illustrious history.

At a press conference, president Sandro Rosell said: "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."

He has led the azulgrana to two Champions League crowns, three La Liga trophies, one Copa del Rey, three Supercopas, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.

Guardiola has operated on short-term deals throughout his tenure but has usually renewed before this stage of the season, prompting speculation he was ready to walk away.

He is thought to have met with Rosell, vice-president for sport Josep Maria Bartomeu and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta on Wednesday - the day after they were eliminated from the Champions League by Chelsea - and indicated his desire to leave.

At the club's request he promised to give it further thought but emerged with the same decision.

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