Pep Guardiola has decided to leave FC Barcelona after 4 glorious years in which our club has achieved sporting excellence and matured into a much stronger, respected and well-organised institution.
Pep Guardiola's highly anticipated press conference did not turn out as I expected. While I was fairly sure the most successful coach in Barcelona history would leave, I must admit my heart was in denial and refused to believe the obvious truth even minutes after the dreaded announcement was made.
Pep Guardiola explained: “Four years is an eternity as Barcelona manager. 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. I am leaving with the sensation of having done a good job and I’m proud of what I’ve done here, I am leaving at peace with myself”
Devastating news. In my mind, I had pictured Guardiola becoming Barcelona's version of the job Sir Alex Ferguson has been doing at Manchester United for decades: A man who knows the ins and outs of the club, someone who Culés can refer to when times turn ugly, an authoritative father figure who flies our Blaugrana flag with pride.
I was wrong - Guardiola decided to leave after giving Barcelona the best years of our over 110 years of history.
While many thoughts keep wandering around my mind at this stage, all I can say is: Thank you.
Thank you for the two Champions Leagues, three Ligas, two Clubs World Cups, two European Supercups, one Copa del Rey and three Spanish Supercups - Let's hope we can add another Copa del Rey next month and end on an even higher note!
Thank you for leading Barcelona to a 72% win rate under your management, scoring over 2.5 goals and only conceding 0.73 per match. Achieving such statistics while practising the most attractive football in the planet took Johan Cruyff's revolutionary attacking model into a whole new level.
Thank you for promoting Barça B to the Segunda Division and giving our youngsters a chance to compete at the highest level. Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Victor Valdes and many others wouldn't be where they are today without your guidance.
Thank you for making us Catalans proud by always promoting our name around the world, defending our values of hard work and determination, continuously searching for ways to build on our success. The Gold Medal that you were awarded by the Parliament of Catalonia is fully deserved.
Thank you for being honest with our players, fans and yourself. I can think of many managers who would have happily held to their privileged position and continued to collect their wages at the end of every month while doing the job half-heartedly. The fact you walked away the very second you realised you didn't feel fully committed to the job honours you.
I could go on signing Guardiola's praises for hours but, honestly, words can not explain how much admiration and respect El Noi De Santpedor has earned since he joined our La Masia academy as a skinny youngster back in 1984.
I am proud to say Guardiola will remain in Barcelona hearts forever, a legendary reference for future generations.
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Posted by: Francesc Tomàs
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