Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thanks Pep

It's not exactly the best kept secret in football but tonight the Interweb is full of rumours, all emanating from Spain, that Pep Guardiola will tomorrow lunchtime announce his retirement from Barcelona and take time off to be with his family.

The strain on his face has been there for all to see for a while now and I think that regardless of the result of Tuesday night's Champions League Semi-Final the break was coming. Tito Vilanova will also probably take a break as well to allow him to completely recover from the operation he had before Christmas to remove a tumour from his partoid gland.

Guardiola's achievements as a player were beyond the dreams of most, he was part of the Cruyff dream team and I can remember him playing in a Champions League match, ironically against Chelsea, when the commentator described him as the footballing equivalent of an NFL quarterback.

In a Barcelona playing career that saw him play just over 480 games he won La Liga six times, the Copa Del Rey twice, the Spanish Super Cup four times and of course he was in the team that won the 1992 European Cup Final at Wembley beating Sampdoria.

His first job on succeeding Frank Rijkard as manager in the summer of 2008 was to tell Samuel Etoo, Ronaldinho and Deco that they weren't part of his plans. The team was to be built around the midfield axis of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and the annoying but talented Sergio Busquets.

May 2 2009 is a date that will live long in the memories of all Barcelona fans. It's a night that I well remember because I was on a photography workshop in Southampton and phoned Nathalie at 10 p.m to ask what the score was, when she said, they've won 6-2 I thought she was joking. For Barcelona to win 6-2 in the Bernabeu was staggering and I remember sitting up long into the night watching the goals being re-run on Sky Sports and also thinking how sporting the home fans had been at the end of the match.

The retirement will bring to an end a brief but fruitful managerial career at Barcelona, one that has lasted just four seasons but produced three La Liga titles, two Champions League wins, two European Super Cups and two World Club Cups. More importantly it has given football fans all over the world, except perhaps for those in Madrid and a certain part of West London, four years of fantastic football and for that I am very grateful.


Span Ows said...

Welcome back.

"The boy boy done good" but he was handed most of the team, even so the record of trophies over the last 4 years is unbelievable.

And my prediction about Cesc is starting to become eerily true!

Paul said...


Surprised that Tito got the job, I thought he wanted a rest as well!

Cesc will come good eventually, won't he?

Span Ows said...

He's fine, what I meant was (and commented somewhere last August) was that he went to Arsenal just at the tailing off of their purple patch (he only had a FA Cup and Charity shield with them) and I said it would be a bummer if he went to Barcelona and the same thing happened...oops.

Span Ows said...

by the way, not sure if you knew but Gildy's mum died last week...I know you were reading the posts there but not sure when the last time you popped in was.

Paul said...

Thanks Span - I've been so wrapped up in my own health problems over the last month that I didn't know.

oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet online, burberry outlet, coach outlet, coach outlet store online, nike air max, polo outlet, nike air max, kate spade, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin shoes, kate spade outlet, chanel handbags, tiffany and co, michael kors outlet, tory burch outlet, burberry handbags, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, replica watches, nike outlet, christian louboutin uk, longchamp outlet, coach outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin, gucci handbags, coach purses, prada handbags, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, christian louboutin outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, polo ralph lauren outlet online, prada outlet, nike free, jordan shoes

oakleyses said...

lululemon canada, jordan pas cher, nike tn, hollister uk, nike free uk, air max, louboutin pas cher, new balance, longchamp pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air max uk, north face, hollister pas cher, ray ban uk, converse pas cher, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet, polo lacoste, ralph lauren uk, nike air max uk, hogan outlet, timberland pas cher, mulberry uk, true religion jeans, sac vanessa bruno, oakley pas cher, nike roshe, nike free run, sac hermes, burberry pas cher, michael kors pas cher, nike air max, ray ban pas cher, michael kors, true religion outlet, nike blazer pas cher, north face uk, true religion outlet, nike air force, sac longchamp pas cher, polo ralph lauren, vans pas cher

oakleyses said...

giuseppe zanotti outlet, herve leger, soccer jerseys, asics running shoes, ghd hair, lululemon, insanity workout, vans outlet, baseball bats, nfl jerseys, hollister, p90x workout, timberland boots, reebok outlet, hermes belt, north face outlet, abercrombie and fitch, mac cosmetics, iphone 6 cases, valentino shoes, oakley, chi flat iron, nike roshe run uk, nike air max, babyliss, nike roshe run, instyler, mcm handbags, nike trainers uk, nike huaraches, soccer shoes, beats by dre, bottega veneta, ferragamo shoes, new balance shoes, north face outlet, hollister clothing, jimmy choo outlet, longchamp uk, celine handbags, wedding dresses, mont blanc pens

oakleyses said...

ugg boots, pandora charms, thomas sabo, ralph lauren, toms shoes, lancel, nike air max, ugg uk, ugg boots, ugg, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, hollister, hollister, karen millen uk, louboutin, uggs on sale, juicy couture outlet, converse outlet, swarovski crystal, uggs outlet, links of london, montre pas cher, ray ban, ugg pas cher, gucci, wedding dresses, supra shoes, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, replica watches, coach outlet, converse, swarovski, vans, marc jacobs, pandora jewelry, pandora uk, juicy couture outlet, uggs outlet