The news is out that Pep Guardiola, whose time at FC Barcelona was trophy-packed but ultimately quite short, will walk away from Camp Nou.
(Update from 7:58 ET: the club just announced that assistant Tito Vilanova will replace Guardiola.)
Guardiola’s time with the Blaugrana included three La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns. But his real legacy was reminding the world how beautiful the game can be; Barca rose to its mesmerizing best in last year’s Champions League final, leaving even mighty Manchester United with little chance.
So, what’s next for the man who helped Barca scoop up 13 trophies over the last four years, the man club officials did everything to keep?
Chelsea is on everyone’s mind. Yes, the same club that just kept him from becoming the first coach to successfully defend a Champions League crown. Guardiola, 41, enjoys London and has always said so. Coaching in England has long been on his career bucket list.
Or, might he take a year off? Frank Rijkaard did so after he left Barcelona in 2008 (replaced by Guardiola).
The strain seemed immense on Guardiola, who never enjoyed the club’s profitable summer tours nor the antagonistic, off-field public tussles with bitter rival Real Madrid.
His words after the teams’ most recent encounter: “I don’t have good memories of the Madrid-Barça games, neither the victories nor the defeats. There were always other things that took away from the football. Good luck to the referee.”
Considering the manager’s eye-pleasing style and his success, it seems safe to say Guardiola can have any available job out there that he wants.