Sport

Guardiola to leave Barcelona

Coach Pep Guardiola is to leave Barcelona FC.
Coach Pep Guardiola is to leave Barcelona FC. Getty Images

PEP Guardiola is expected to walk away from FC Barcelona today, four years and 13 trophies after taking over.

Desperate not to lose their most successful coach ever, the club were hoping for a last-minute change of heart but after a three-hour meeting on Wednesday morning with the Barcelona president Sandro Rosell that U-turn looks unlikely.

Roman Abramovich, who has made no secret of his desire to bring Guardiola to Stamford Bridge, must now wait to see if he walks away from football for a year or straight into the club that has just knocked him out of the Champions League.

Guardiola will inform his players of his long-awaited decision and then make it public in a joint press conference with Rosell.

The two men met with director of football Andoni Zubizarreta, club vice- president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Guardiola's assistant Tito Vilanova just hours after the exit to Chelsea, and Rosell offered his coach full control over decision-making and a blank chequebook. But having been so successful in his first four years Guardiola already had the final say over almost all club matters, and loosening any financial restraints over next summer's signings also seems to have been irrelevant.

Chelsea, the club that ended Guardiola's chance of becoming the first coach to retain the Champions League, have already contacted his agent, Josep Maria Orobitg. But having taken the difficult decision to walk away, Guardiola is now expected to take a further three weeks to consider his future.

He could still follow the lead of Barcelona's last outgoing coach, Frank Rijkaard, who took a year away from the game after leaving in 2008. What is not under consideration is taking a job with the English FA.

Guardiola told Zubizarreta in November that he did not feel he had the physical and mental strength for another season. Those doubts were expressed at the time his assistant had emergency surgery to remove a tumour in his throat, and Barcelona supporters had believed with Vilanova back at work Guardiola would change his mind and continue.

The club captain, Xavi Hernandez, speaking in the run-up to last Saturday's clasico with Real Madrid said: "We don't talk about it in the dressing room. We want him to continue, but it is up to him." Guardiola's ability to lift his players will have been one of the key issues in his decision.

He has been strained by the intensity of his success at the club: in two of his four seasons Barça played every game possible and in the other two only fell at the semi-final stage of the Champions League. He complained at the start of the season that the summer tour had replaced a proper pre-season.

Guardiola has also been drained by 10 high-tension encounters with Jose Mourinho, his opposite number at Real Madrid. "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," he said before the last encounter, which Mourinho won - only the Real coach's second victory over Guardiola.

The current Athletic Bilbao coach, Marcelo Bielsa, and the former Barcelona player Ernesto Valverde, who has just quit Olympiakos after winning his third Greek Super League title, are seen as early options to replace Guardiola. Valverde has previously worked with Zubizarreta at Bilbao.

Topics:  barcelona fc



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Two days out and straight back to jail

News

A GOONDIWINDI man has been thrown back behind bars.

Comics entertain with reality of womanhood

GIRL POWER: Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs will be performing their comedy show, Women Like Us, at the Warwick RSL tomorrow.

THEY have performed at some of the biggest comedy events in Aus.

Man pulls gun, found with drugs, court told

ARREST: Gerald Arthur Field in custody.

A MAN allegedly got out of his car and faced police holding a gun.

Local Partners

Wet weekend to end hottest month

The hottest month in Southern Downs history will end with the region being doused in showers.


REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Collegians to kick off footy season next week

Collegians coaches (from left) Deb Scanlan, Garth Miller, Ben Brownlie, Matt Collins (U9 assistant), David Hallman, Kerry Scanlan, Josh Williams, Bob Bell, Craig Frattini and Scott Morton.

Plenty of experience in Collegians coaching ranks

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

BINDI Irwin has paid tribute to her late dad, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, on what would have been his 55th birthday.

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

LOVERS: Grant and Chris have been together for more than three years, and Chris' parents refuse to acknowledge their son's fiance.

Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Selling Houses renovate for Salvos in 100th episode

Charlie Albone, Andrew Winter and Shaynna Blaze return for season 10 of Selling Houses Australia. Supplied by Foxtel.

Selling Houses launch 10th season in volatile property market

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!