The Spanish giants have announced that his assistant will take over the job next season

Pep Guardiola has announced that he will leave his position as Barcelona coach at the end of the 2011-12 campaign.

Reports stated that the 41-year-old already informed his squad of his decision to move on earlier on Friday; thus making it public that he will not be extending his expiring contract with Barcelona.

The former Spain international has won three La Liga and two Champions League titles during his time as Barcelona coach; a post which he inherited from Frank Rijkaard in 2008 after previously leading the club’s ‘B’ team.

The present season has seen him lose all chances to retain a major trophy as Barcelona were knocked out of the UEFA Champions league by English side, Chelsea; while Real Madrid is currently leading in the race for the Spanish league title with a seven-point gap between both teams.

“I want to thank my players, who have been responsible for everything I have had here. It’s been a privilege to train them. I did it all with a lot of passion, but I want to thank the players… A million moves and a million plays that I have imagined have been made a reality by these players.”

The spaniard admitted fatigue, saying “After four years gets everyone tired… I told the chairman that my era is finishing. The new coach will be able to give things I’m not able to any more. I need to recover the feeling that I had when I first started – time has taken its toll. I just don’t feel the same – Barca don’t deserve that. That’s all I’m going to say.”

On what is next on his agenda, Guardiola said: “There are more things than football. I will rest and maybe one day I will say, now let’s train. Maybe not. Let’s see where life takes me. The president has offered me some things, but I need to take some distance. Now I need time, there’s no bigger challenge for someone who was born 60 kilometres away than being Barca coach.”

Guardiola’s decision has generated several reactions from the football world.

Louis Saha was the first to take to twitter on Guardiola, saying: “Wow Guardiola on his way out of Barcelona Fc. Is it possible to see him be in line for England manager?”

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