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Pep Guardiola bows out

Pep Guardiola finally made the official announcement that he will not be returning as Barcelona's manager next year. In his four years with the first team, he has helped them reach an unprecedented level of success, but the stress has taken its toll. Burnt out, Pep will take a much-needed sabbatical, hoping to recuperate and rekindle his passion. His assistant Tito Vilanova will succeed him as Barcelona's manager.

I knew that this was coming, and I fully support Pep in his decision. As he has always reminded us, there is more to life than football. I hope that he enjoys his time away to be with his family and focus on other things. I also hope that this proves to be only a temporary leave of absence. I feel very confident that he is not doing this to continue his career at some other big club, but that he will seek to return to this position once he feels up to its demands again.

At the same time, of course, I'm very sad about it. To me, Pep is as much FC Barcelona as any of his amazing players, maybe more. He embodies the philosophy of the club, its beautiful fluid playing style, its nurturing and promotion of homegrown talent, its grace in victory and in defeat.

And I feel for the team - Xavi looked ready to cry at the press conference, and Leo stayed away altogether because he didn't want his strong emotions on display. At least they will not have to adapt to an entirely new manager since they have been working with Tito all this time as well. But what a rotten ending to a rotten couple of weeks for them.

Thanks so much, Pep, for all that you have done for this team, and all the best for your future.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 28th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
Are the Barcelona players more emotionally open than American players? We tend to "tough it out".
Apr. 28th, 2012 03:45 am (UTC)
I would say (partly from personal experience) that despite the macho stereotype, Latin males tend to express their emotions (especially sadness and affection) much more openly, but of course there's a range. Leo Messi in particular is almost childlike in that respect. Even Pep Guardiola broke down in uncontrollable sobs on the pitch when Barcelona won the World Club Cup Championship in 2009.

The thing is, these players are very close to their coach. They speak of him treating them like his sons. They are going to miss him terribly.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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