Pep Guardiola dispersed the clouds of insecurity and doubt regarding his future with Barcelona, announcing he will not extend his contract once the 2011-2012 season is over. Tito Vilanova, who has been Guardiola’s assistant over the past four years, will replace him as Barca’s head coach.
Guardiola might have made the decision before the Clasico and the Champions League Semi Finals, but he left his answer to the press after the results. If he would’ve beaten Real Madrid and made it into the finals, he would have probably delayed his announcement, or changed his decision.
The reason? Fatigue. Physical, mental. After four seasons at the top of the European and global game, Guardiola has had enough. Guardiola said he already felt exhausted before the 2012 season, and carrying on this way would only harm the club. Rumor has it that players were crying after Guardiola broke the news to them.
There’s still a chance for Barcelona, theoretical, to catch Real Madrid and top the La Liga, but it seems unlikely Real will drop 7 points in the next four games. Barcelona still have the Copa Del Rey final to fight for, with Athletic Bilbao waiting for them in hope to complete a cup double this season.
Since Guardiola took over as Barcelona head coach, he has led them in 242 matches, winning 175 of them (72.3%), drawing 46 and losing 21. The team has scored 618 goals during that time, 2.6 per match, while conceding 178. The title count is much more impressive.
Three La Liga titles, two Champions League trophies, one Copa Del Rey (so far), two Fifa Club World Cups, three Spanish Super Cups and two European Super Cups. Mighty big shoes to fill for Tito Vilanova. Can’t wait for the next Calsico, which might be in four months as the two teams meet in the Spanish Super Cup, when Mourinho (if he stays) and Vilanova meet face to face as equals.