Report: Pep Guardiola to Leave FC Barcelona at End of Season, Take One-Year Break from Game


Report: Pep Guardiola to Leave FC Barcelona at End of Season, Take One-Year Break from GamePep Guardiola is on the verge of walking away from FC Barcelona. The wildly successful tactician will not renew his contract at the end of the season. Instead he will take a sabbatical, according to the BBC.

"The 41-year-old Catalan will announce his intentions at a press conference at the Nou Camp on Friday afternoon," the BBC reports. "And barring a last-minute change of heart, Guardiola is expected to confirm his departure from the club he has led to two Champions League titles."

Guardiola spent three hours with Barcelona president Sandro Rossell on Thursday morning. During the talks, which took place at Rossell's private home in the city, Guardiola is understood to have expressed his belief that he could "not go on."

Guardiola is an icon at Barcelona. He played for the club from 1990-201. After retiring, he returned as manager of Barcelona's B team in 2007. He lead Barcelona's reserves to promotion in his only season in charge.

Guardiola became Barcelona manager in 2008 replacing Frank Rijkaard. He has guided the club to an astonishing 13 trophies since then.

Barcelona captured three-straight La Liga (Spanish first division) titles, as well as two UEFA Champions League (2009 and 2011) crowns. This season the Catalan club captured the Spanish and European Super Cups as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.

But Barcelona will end the current season on a sour note. Rival Real Madrid looks to have pried the league championship from Barcelona's grip. After defeating Barcelona on Saturday, Real has a seven point lead at the top of the standings with four games to play. On Wednesday, Barcelona was eliminated from the Champions League by Chelsea FC.

Guardiola and his group will play Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final on May 25. But it looks like his days in charge of the storied club will soon come to an end.

He has worked on a series of one-year contracts, deciding at each step whether or not to continue as Barcelona manager.

He has been linked to every major job opening in Europe, including Chelsea FC and Inter Milan, but it's unlikely that he will lead another team next season.

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