The dust has begun to settle at Nou Camp as Guardiola stepped off the pitch for one last time as the famed manager of Barcelona.
It was a sight to take in last night as his most popular attraction – the Argentinian playmaker – Lionel Messi managed to score four goals against city rivals Espanyol. A feat that saw him reach 50 goals in domestic football and 72 in all competitions, eventually breaking the record for most goals scored in a single season.
His appreciation for Pep was quite evident, as he ran up to his manager to embrace him after scoring his fourth goal. Almost like he had something to say. Something to express. That surely was his appreciation for what Pep has achieved within and for the club.
Josep “Pep” Guardiola i Sala and Barcelona have ended four seasons of close ties. The damage followed an unsuccessful run of Barcelona to conquer either the coveted La Liga title or the Champions League crown; to both of which, they were the defending champions.
To a certain extent, one could say that it was not a decision that was taken lightly either by himself nor us, the fans. Coming to think of it, we are both a bit heartbroken. However, ultimately for someone believing in the concept of achieving more it was the right decision, but that does not make it a single ounce easier.
Having won 178 games out of 245 played throughout his coaching career as Barcelona’s number one, his contribution to the club will not be undermined. With a solid resume of 3 La Liga, 2 Champions League, 1 Copa Del Rey, 2 FIFA Club World Cup, 2 European Super Cup and 3 Spanish Super Cup titles, he surely won’t have to struggle when it comes to searching for his next employer. That is a total of 13 trophies and the list could grow to 14 by the end of the season that is if Barcelona manages to beat Athletico Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final.
A man who has shown his passion like no other coach on the pitch, match and match again. The video of him celebrating in the 2009 Champions League Final after Andres Iniesta had scored in the last minute against Chelsea says it all. And FYI, it was the same year that Barcelona had managed to bag all the trophies (6 of them) that was available.
For sure Guardiola’s way with words will be missed, but most of his entire attempt to simplify football which is visible when Barcelona play will be missed. The unsophisticated, beautiful and absolute notion of “take the ball, pass the ball” as he says it.
I would rather like to conclude with a statement made by Guardiola in his own words:
“You don’t know how lucky I am. I will miss you a lot. I lose more than you, you’re in good hands.”
Gracias, Pep por todo. Thank you Pep for everything.
Barça, Barça, Baaarça!