The region of Catalunya bid a reluctant farewell to their prodigal son after Pep Guardiola announced his decision to leave the club at the end of the season. The 41 year old has been through a tumultuous two weeks with Barca during which they all but handed the league title to Real Madrid and suffered a shock Champions League semi-final defeat at the hands of Chelsea. Guardiola had a long discussion with Barcelona President Sandro Russell yesterday and broke the news to his players today morning before announcing his decision during an emotional press conference a few hours ago.
"I would like you to understand that this is not an easy decision for me," said Guardiola. "But I would like to explain my reasons for this decision. I have always wanted short-term contracts. Four years is an eternity as Barca coach. That passion is so necessary to continue, so the players listen to you disappears after four years. "