Guardiola, durant la roda de premsa del seu comiat / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

“I have been emptied and need to be refilled”. That’s why Josep Guardiola decided to put an end to his time as manager of the FC Barcelona first team. After four years in the job and becoming the man to manage the team for the third highest number of games and winning 13 titles in the process, he has decided he simply does not have the energy to carry on in the position. “Four years is an eternity as Barça manager”, he said. “The next person will be able to offer things that I wasn’t able to offer. It has been very demanding and a coach has to be strong and be able to get that energy across to the players. I have to recover it and I’ll do that by resting”.

Doing what he has to do

It is not easy for Guardiola to leave a place that feels like home to him, but he didn’t want his sentimental attachment to Barça “to stop me from being clear about my decisions”. He has admitted that “this club is the best possible place, but I’m doing what I have to do." He feels that the exhaustion of staying on any longer “would have been bad for the players and for myself. And I have too much love for them to disrupt things just in order to be here”.

Thanks to the players

He once again thanked his players for the professionalism they have shown to him over these four years. “I have had the major privilege of coaching from the first to the last player. They have made me enjoy this job and I have to thank them because so many imagined tactics and games have become a reality thanks to them. There is no more valuable prize than that, and that is what I’ll be taking away”.

Guardiola has been especially considerate of Abidal, who is recovering from his liver transplant of just a few weeks ago. And also Keita, who a few months ago he described as “the child of my eyes”, and who this Friday he called “my thermometer here”.

He also wished to thank president Sandro Rosell and his Board of Directors for everything they have done to help him at the club, while not forgetting Joan Laporta in his day as well.

A job well done

Guardiola is convinced that “I am leaving with the sensation of having done a good job and I’m proud of what I’ve done here. I have not forgotten anything that I was taught by my predecessors. And I am leaving at peace with myself”. The manager now feels he needs to put some distance between himself and the game, and has no thoughts of an immediate return to coaching. “Sooner or later I’ll coach again, but I wouldn’t be able to fill this emptiness if I were to carry on coaching now” he confessed.

Sorry for doubting

Josep Guardiola admitted that he had thought of leaving FC Barcelona way back in the autumn and that president Sandro Rosell and director of sport for football Andoni Zubizarreta had already been informed of that. “I’m sorry for the uncertainty I’ve generated over this time. It’s as if I’ve had to beg to leave” he concluded, after commenting that it might have been a mistake to let things drag on for so long.

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