Friday, April 27, 2012


Barcelona paid an emotional tribute to departing Pep Guardiola after the Spaniard confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season.

Key stars of first team, inclduing club captain Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas watched Guardiola deliver his farewell speech at the Nou Camp, applauding him after announcing an end to his glorious trophy-laden four-year era

Barcelona also revealed that Guardiola's No 2 Tito Vilanova will take over the managerial reigns next season.

Guardiola's decision comes after a bad week for the Catalan giants following their midweek 

Guardiola's contract was due to expire at the end of June and he informed the players at training today 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.

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

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