FOOTBALL: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola announced on Friday that he would be standing down at the end of the season to "recharge his batteries," with his assistant Tito Vilanova confirmed as his replacement.
Guardiola, who has led the Catalan side to 13 trophies during his four-year tenure at the Nou Camp, admitted he has been pondering his future for some time.
He said: "I have always wanted short-term contracts. Four years is an eternity as Barca coach. In the month of October I announced to the president and to the sporting director that I thought my spell was coming to an end.
"The main reason why I have taken this decision is because four years is many years.
"I have given everything and I have nothing left and need to recharge my batteries."
The 41-year-old added: "The demands have been great and I have not been able to rest much. I have to recover and the only way I can do that is by distancing myself. Otherwise, we would have ended up damaging each other."
Guardiola's announcement was followed by Barca president Sandro Rosell revealing that Vilanova would step up into the top job.
Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta felt promoting from within, as they did with Guardiola, was the best way forward.
He said: "We've always said that if the team needs players, we look at home first (Barca B).