Barcelona - Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will
not continue as coach of the Spanish club after this season, and his
assistant Tito Vilanova will take over.
Guardiola's contract ends
at the close of the season and the former player rejected Barcelona's
offer to extend his deal. His last game in charge will be the Copa del
Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on May 25.
"The reason is
simple, four years are long and they wear you down," Guardiola said
Friday after president Sandro Rosell announced he would not continue. "I
think that sincerely that the next person will have things to bring
"Every day during four years, the demands are very
high, the pressure, the necessary energy to push the players and enjoy
it. I need to rest and move away."
Rosell said Vilanova, who has
served as Guardiola's assistant since he was promoted from B-team
manager, would take over the coaching duties.
coach has led Barcelona to 13 trophies since replacing Frank Rijkaard at
the beginning of the 2008-09 season, including two Champions League
crowns and three Spanish league titles.
Guardiola's decision ends a
difficult week for the team that saw it exit the Champions League
semifinals to Chelsea following a loss to Real Madrid which will likely
cost it a fourth straight Spanish title.
"I'm very sorry for all
of the uncertainty I created over this time over my future, maybe that
was an error of mine," Guardiola said. "I didn't mean to create this
kind of mood."