Pep Guardiola, Barcelona
“Pep is going” cried the front-page headline of Barcelona-based daily Sport, adding, however, that while his decision probably was already taken there was still a glimmer of hope.

MADRID: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will leave at the end of this season after deciding not to extend his contract, it was announced on Friday.     

Guardiola's assistant Tito Vilanova will take over as the coach of the club, Barca President Sandro Rosell told a news conference.

“Pep Guardiola will not continue as coach next season,” Rosell said.

“Thank you for your work and your love.”

Guardiola, who wants to recharge his batteries, added: “I'm sorry for the confusion in recent weeks. I've always wanted short contracts because the demands at Barcelona are so big.

“Now we were out of the two main competitions, it was a good time to announce it.

“The reason is simple. Four years, that gets everyone tired.

The new coach will give things that I can't give anymore.”

Barca were knocked out of the Champions League as holders by Chelsea in the semi-finals on Tuesday while Real Madrid are likely to steal their La Liga title in the coming weeks.

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