28 April 2012

Vilanova to take over from Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has announced to the president and squad that he will not be staying at FC Barcelona after June 30, when his present contract ends.

Sandro Rosell, Andoni Zubizarreta and Guardiola were speaking to a packed press conference at the Camp Nou.

It was also announced at the press conference that Tito Vilanova will be the next FCB manager.

Pep Guardiola is leaving Barça on June 30 after four years in charge of the first team and the club has also decided that his successor will be Tito Vilanova. Guardiola announced his decision this Friday morning to president Sandro Rosell and the squad just before training at Sant Joan Despí. Afterwards, Rosell, Guardiola and Zubizarreta gave a press conference in the Ricard Maxenchs pressroom in the Camp Nou.

It was a hugely attended affair, with the board of directors present, along with the four captains in representation of the players and a large number of media professionals

Sandro Rosell was responsible for announcing the decision to the public, whereupon he expressed his “eternal gratitude” to the coach for the “happiness” he has given the club by “perfecting a model that should never be questioned again.” He also commented that Guardiola was simply “the best manager in club history.” The outgoing manager himself named exhaustion as his main reason for deciding to leave, but sure that he could do so “with the feeling of a job well done”.

Rosell then announced who the next Barcelona manager will be, a decision made by the coaching staff and ratified by the Board. Tito Vilanova is the chosen man, and Andoni Zubizarreta explained the reasons why. Vilanova thus becomes the seventeenth Catalan manager of the Barça first team.

Guardiola is departing as the most successful manager in FCB history, having won 13 titles to date. Having also played for Barça between 1991 and 2001, he returned in 2007 to coach the reserve team. A year later he took over the first team and led them to four unprecedented years of success. (via FCBarcelona.com)