Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev as aid convoy ‘returns to Russia’

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Sport

Barcelona appoint Vilanova to succeed Guardiola

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-27

Barcelona FC have appointed Francesc 'Toto' Vilanova to take over as coach next season after Pep Guardiola (pictured) announced he would step down, the club announced Friday.

REUTERS - Barcelona’s most successful manager Pep Guardiola will walk away from the Catalans at the end of the season and will be replaced by his assistant Tito Vilanova, the club announced on Friday.

Guardiola’s decision to quit and recharge his batteries ends a remarkable trophy-laden four-year spell built on a passing style of unmatched fluidity and control.

“I’m sorry for the confusion in recent weeks. I’ve always wanted short contracts because the demands at Barcelona are so big,” the 41-year-old told a news conference at the Nou Camp with players present in the audience.

“Now we were out of the two main competitions, it was a good time to announce it.

“The reason is simple. Four years, that gets everyone tired. The new coach will give things that I can’t give anymore.”

Speculation about Guardiola’s future intensified after holders Barca were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea 3-2 on aggregate in their memorable semi-final on Tuesday when world player of the year Lionel Messi missed a penalty.

That followed a 2-1 home loss to arch rivals Real Madrid on Saturday that meant they are likely to miss out on a fourth straight La Liga title.

A drained Guardiola added: “I am really sorry about having lost that energy but I cannot lie to myself if I don’t have the same energy and excitement as the beginning and I knew from before it was my last season.”

The Nou Camp hierarchy have moved quickly to name a successor and have continued in the mould of Guardiola, who was previously their B team coach.

“We chose Tito because he represents the idea and the image,” sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said. “He has commitment and personality.”

Guardiola has enjoyed a hugely successful stint at the helm of the Catalan club, winning 13 trophies in four seasons while playing a style of football that has been widely acclaimed as the best in the world.

However, the longer he delayed a decision on his future the more speculation grew he might quit and even be lured to another club, with reports linking him to the Chelsea and Inter Milan jobs among others.

Some suggested he was in line to become the next England manager but he implied at the news conference that he was planning to take a sabbatical.

He has preferred to renew his Barca contract on an annual basis and waited until Feb. 8 last year before agreeing a new deal.

He then went on to capture a third consecutive La Liga title and a second Champions League crown, as well as the Spanish and European Super Cups and the Club World Cup. Their success was built on ball retention with teams fortunate to enjoy 30 percent of possession against them.

Barca have a chance to claim more silverware this season in the King’s Cup and play Athletic Bilbao in next month’s final.

Date created : 2012-04-27

  • CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

    Barcelona's Guardiola considers future after Chelsea defeat

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Madrid inch closer to title with 2-1 win over Barcelona

    Read more

  • CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

    Chelsea gain first leg advantage against Barca

    Read more

COMMENT(S)