Tag Archives: rosell

Lionel Messi signs new contract with Barcelona until 2018

Messi follows example of Xavi and Puyol by committing to Barcelona until 2018

PUBLISHED:

16:27 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

18:17 GMT, 7 February 2013

Lionel Messi has signed his two-year contract extension with Barcelona.

The Argentina superstar put pen to paper on his new deal at the Nou Camp this afternoon and is now tied to the Catalan giants until June 30, 2018.

Messi follows in the footsteps of fellow club stalwarts Xavi and Carles Puyol, both of whom signed their extensions last month.

Pen to paper: The four-time Ballon d'Or winner signed a new deal with Barcelona this afternoon

Pen to paper: The four-time Ballon d'Or winner signed a new deal with Barcelona this afternoon

Job done: Barcelona's president Sandro Rosell shakes hands with the Argentina international after he pledged his future to the Catalan club until 2018

Job done: Barcelona's president Sandro Rosell shakes hands with the Argentina international after he pledged his future to the Catalan club until 2018

Barca announced in December they had agreed new contracts with the trio.

It's
little wonder Barcelona are keen to tie down Messi's future for as long
as possible – the Argentina international has scored 45 goals in 34
appearances this season so far.

And that comes off the back of an incredible 91 goals during the 2012 calendar year.

Lionel Messi arrives at the Camp Nou Stadium to sign a new contract lasting until 2018

Lionel Messi arrives at the Camp Nou Stadium to sign a new contract with Barcelona

Sign on the dotted line: Messi arrives at the Camp Nou Stadium this afternoon to sign a new two-year contract extension with Barcelona, which will see him through until 2018. While Messi may again be surging ahead in the goalscoring charts, he is hardly inspiring many with his choice of jacket.

Lionel Messi arrives at the Camp Nou Stadium to sign his new two-year contract extension

Lionel Messi arrives at the Camp Nou Stadium to sign his new two-year contract extension

The news was welcomed by Messi's teammate Jordi Alba, who said: 'I can't imagine what Messi will be like in 2018, but it's great news for Barca fans that he's staying.

'He is the best player in the world and as long as nothing happens, he'll be the best ever. We'll try to make him feel as comfortable here as we can.'

Dotty: Messi wore an eye-catching tuxedo to pick up his latest Ballon D'Or award last month

Dotty: Messi wore an eye-catching tuxedo to pick up his latest Ballon D'Or award last month

Golden balls: Lionel Messi with his FIFA Ballon D'Or collection. He's won the accolade, for the best player in world football, for the last four years

Golden balls: Lionel Messi with his FIFA Ballon D'Or collection. He's won the accolade, for the best player in world football, for the last four years

The former Valencia player added: 'I was once unlucky enough to have to face him as an opponent, but now I'm here I'm delighted to have him as a teammate.

'I have never seen anybody capable of doing the things he can do.'

Messi, 25, came up through the youth ranks at Barca before making his competitive debut against Espanyol in 2004 at the age of 17.

Since then he has established himself as one of the best players in history, breaking numerous records in the process.

Delighted: Messi's teammate Jordi Alba (right) was pleased with news of the new contract

Delighted: Messi's teammate Jordi Alba (right) was pleased with news of the new contract

He won his fourth straight FIFA World Player of the Year award last month following a remarkable 2012 in which he scored 91 goals – smashing the world record of 85 in a calendar year set by Bayern Munich and West Germany striker Gerd Muller in 1972.

While setting that record, Messi became the first man to score five times in a Champions League game as Barca crushed Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 last March.

Three weeks after that he became Barca's all-time leading goalscorer after a brace against Granada moved him on to 233 official goals, one more than the previous record set by Cesar Rodriguez during the 1940s and 50s.

Familiar: The sight of Lionel Messi celebrating another goal for Barcelona has become a familiar one - he scored an all-time record 91 goals in the 2012 calendar year

Familiar: The sight of Lionel Messi celebrating another goal for Barcelona has become a familiar one – he scored an all-time record 91 goals in the 2012 calendar year

He has been in similarly stunning form in 2013 and his goal in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Valencia was a league-record 12th consecutive game in which he found the net.

During his time at the Nou Camp, Messi has also helped Barca win a host of silverware, including five Primera Division titles, three Champions Leagues, two Copa del Rey crowns and two FIFA Club World Cups.

Sandro Rosell slams Manchester City for trying to lure Barcelona staff

Barca warning for Man City over luring stars: They want to fish here but there are no fish left!

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

11:42 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:47 GMT, 15 January 2013

Offended: Sandro Rosell slammed Manchester City

Offended: Sandro Rosell slammed Manchester City

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has claimed Manchester City have tried to lure a number of people to the Etihad Stadium from the Nou Camp.

Rosell says the Barclays Premier League champions have not only tried to sign players from all levels of the club's structure, but also other employees of the Catalan giants.

Former Barcelona directors Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain are now at City as chief executive and director of football respectively.

Rosell, speaking to RAC1 and quoted
in Marca, said: 'There have been some offensive approaches from City, at
all levels of the structure of the club, but no one wants to go.

'They wanted to fish here, but there
were no fish left. We're talking about people at all levels of the Barca
structure, not just players. Their attempts have been unsuccessful,
though, as our employees are happy here.

Star of the show: Lionel Messi is Barca's prized asset

Star of the show: Lionel Messi is Barca's prized asset

City slickers: Txiki Begiristain (left) and Ferran Soriano left Barca for the Etihad

City slickers: Txiki Begiristain (left) and Ferran Soriano left Barca for the Etihad

'There have been contacts, but we have a fantastic group of people and nobody wants to go.'

He added: 'I had hoped that he (Begiristain) would not use the information he gathered about Barcelona during his time here to help another club become bigger, but he seems to disagree with me.

'I would like it if the relationship between both clubs was a bit better and more transparent.'

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova suffers tumour relapse

Barcelona boss Vilanova suffers tumour relapse… assistant team coach Roura steps in

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UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 19 December 2012

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is to undergo surgery and a course of chemotherapy after suffering a relapse of a cancerous tumour he had removed last year.

The 44-year-old had a tumour on his parotid gland (the largest of the human salivary glands) removed in emergency surgery last November when he was the club's assistant manager.

During a recent medical check-up, it was found that the tumour had returned and Vilanova will have more surgery on Thursday before six weeks of chemotherapy.

Assistant coach Jordi Roura has been named interim boss during Vilanova's absence.

It was announced in April that Vilanova would take over as Barca coach following Pep Guardiola's decision to step down at the end of the season and take a year-long sabbatical from the game.

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Stepping down: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has suffered a relapse of a tumour he had removed last November

Vilanova was Guardiola's assistant
during four hugely successful years at the Nou Camp which saw Barca win
13 trophies, including two Champions League crowns and three Primera
Division titles.

Vilanova has enjoyed a superb start to his tenure in the hotseat,
helping Barca establish a nine-point lead at the top of the league
standings after winning 15 of their opening 16 games while drawing the
other.

Barca are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League
and hold a 2-0 first-leg lead over Cordoba in their Copa del Rey last-16
tie.

The club cancelled a scheduled press conference involving Club President Sandro Rosell on Wednesday as the news broke, as well as the staff Christmas party.

A training session scheduled for 6pm UK time this evening, and which was open to the public for the first 15 minutes, has been closed off.

Barcelona
have announced that no decision will be made on a potential replacement
until Vilanova has spoken to the players.

The news broke on the same day defender Eric Abidal was given the all-clear to resume his playing career following a liver transplant.

VILANOVA'S RECORD AT BARCELONA SO FAR

Pld 27 W 23 D 2 L 2 (85.18% win ratio)

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Successor: Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola (right) as Barcelona manager in the summer

Messages of support flooded in for Vilanova from throughout the sporting world.

'Very sorry to hear the news,' Barca midfielder Xavi said on his official Twitter account.

Former tennis world number one Rafa
Nadal said: 'All my strength and support for Tito Vilanova! We are all
with you to overcome this next hurdle.'

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero ‏tweeted: 'We support you, #AnimoTito! We wish you the strength to overcome this moment.'

His Spanish teammate David Silva added: 'All my support and best wishes to Tito and all of the people in the world fighting every day against cancer. Be strong #AnimoTito'

Former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker tweeted: 'Very sorry to hear Tito Vilanova, the Barca coach, is undergoing surgery after a cancer relapse. Thoughts are with him.'

A statement on the Madrid website read: 'Real Madrid want to express their support and best wishes for the coach of FC Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, and wish him a very rapid recovery. Real Madrid offer their support to his club and to all his family.'

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Good job: Barcelona are nine points clear at the summit of La Liga

Vilanova was out of action for around
three weeks after surgery last year, but returned to the dugout to help
Guardiola for the last six months of the 2011-12 campaign.

The quietly-spoken Catalan said the experience had left him with a different perspective on life, at his presentation in June.

'I had an important operation a few
months ago,' he said. 'I spoke with the medics and my family about the
job, but they all said I was perfectly okay and there was no problem.

'Having overcome this operation it
gives me a different view on life. Perhaps, after what has happened,
training Barca will be like kids play.'

Barca released a press statement this morning announcing they had suspended all activities for today but did not go into details and did not mention Vilanova.

The club confirmed a further announcement would be made later today.

The statement read: 'Barcelona announce that it is has suspended the press conference from president Sandro Rosell planned for midday. As well as that, the media Christmas lunch has been cancelled.

'Later today the club will issue a further release. Until that time we will not make any announcement about this matter.

'We regret any inconvenience this decision may cause.'

Vilanova factfile

1969: Born September 17 in Bellcaire d'Emporda Girona.

1988: Comes through the Barcelona youth set-up along with fellow midfielder Pep Guardiola, but cannot break into the first team, playing for two years at Barcelona B.

1990: Joins lower-league Figueres.

1992: Moves to Primera Division Celta Vigo, but fails to hold down a first-team place.

1995: Leaves Celta.

2002: Retires from playing after short spells in the lower leagues with Badajoz, Real Mallorca, Lleida, Elche and finally Gramenet.

Tito Vilanova

2007: After working as technical director at Tarrassa, becomes Guardiola's assistant at Barcelona B. The pair help the team to promotion to Segunda Division B.

2008: June – Guardiola takes over coach of Barcelona and Vilanova comes with him as his assistant. The pair win the league, cup and Champions League in the first season in charge. Two more league titles, another Champions League crown and two Club World Cups follow.

2011: November 22 – Undergoes surgery on his parotid gland in Barcelona and spends three weeks recovering after being discharged.

2012: April 27 – Appointed as Guardiola's successor as Barcelona coach for next season after Guardiola announces he will not renew his contract.

June 15 – Signs a two-year contract to remain as Barcelona coach.

December 19 – Barcelona announce he would have surgery on the parotid gland for a second time on December 20 and faced approximately six weeks of chemotherapy. A club statement also said he could remain as coach dependent on his recovery during the treatment.

Lionel Messi to agree new Barcelona contract that makes him best paid player in world

Messi hits jackpot! Barca star is not only the best player in world, he's now the highest paid…

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UPDATED:

22:25 GMT, 15 December 2012

Lionel Messi is ready to sign for life at Barcelona with a deal that
would give him the highest club wages of any footballer in Europe's top
leagues.

The player's father, Jorge, has already opened negotiations with the
Catalan club over extending his current contract, meaning he will stay
at Barcelona until he is at least 31.

Money bags: Messi looks set for a mega contract

Money bags: Messi looks set for
a mega contract

Money bags: Messi looks set for a mega contract

The deal is expected to be structured so that it increases yearly,
rising to 12.5million a year net before bonuses. Messi, 25, signed his
last big contract in the 2009-10 season with then sporting director
Txiki Begiristain and his vice-president Marc Ingla.

That contract is heavily incentivised with his pay, after bonuses, in
any given season automatically becoming his basic pay for the following
season.

President Sandro Rosell is keen to extend that deal by two years to
ensure he stays at Barcelona before fulfilling his ambition of a
swansong in Argentina before he retires.

The top 10 richest players

1 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 27.5m

2 David Beckham (Free agent) 26.2m

3 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 24.3m

4 S amuel Eto'o (Anzhi Makhachkala) 19.4m

5 Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 17.2m

6 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain) 16m

7 S ergio Aguero (Manchester City) 15.7m

8 Yaya Toure (Manchester City) 14.7m

9 Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 13.9m

10 Kaka (Real Madrid) 12.9m

The player's net take-home pay before bonuses is estimated at 9m year, behind Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 12m and Samuel Eto'o, who earns 16m at Anzhi Makhachkala.

Although his bonuses, as well as sponsorship, invariably take Messi past those players, the new deal could see his basic pay leave him clear of the field.

It would also see him pull away from Cristiano Ronaldo's estimated 9m annual earnings before bonuses. That will annoy Ronaldo's camp, who have been frustrated by Real Madrid's failure to start talks over a new deal for the Portugal forward.

Today, Messi comes up against Atletico Madrid and the player Roman Abramovich wants to put in a similar pay league at Stamford Bridge, Radamel Falcao.

The Chelsea owner will offer the Colombia striker a five-year, 200,000-a-week contract but his dream of landing the world's most wanted No 9 could be thwarted by Real Madrid.

A bid of €60m (48.8m) will land the striker, who destroyed Chelsea in the European Super Cup in August, but Real president Florentino Perez is committed to meeting that asking price at the end of the season.

Left behind: Cristiano Ronaldo could be eclipsed by Messi in pay chart

Left behind: Cristiano Ronaldo could be eclipsed by Messi in pay chart

Just as Messi is beyond the reach of the Chelsea owner, Real's determination not to miss out on Falcao – as they did Sergio Aguero – threatens the Russian's chances of landing his latest top target.

A gentleman's agreement between Real and Atletico has in the past stopped the former from signing the latter's players but Perez was criticised by fans for allowing Aguero to join Manchester City last season. He is up for re-election this summer and needs a big signing to help him win.

Despite the Madrid clubs' understanding, Aguero was bound for Real before the start of last season until differences over which agent would be used scuppered the deal.

That will not be an issue as Falcao is represented by Jorge Mendes, who already manages a host of Real's top players, including Ronaldo.

Perez was at an awards ceremony in midweek with Falcao and was filmed without his knowledge joking with the player and goalkeeper Iker Casillas that he would pass the striker a serviette with the words 'do you want to sign for Madrid' on it.

That's rich: Kaka may be a bit-part player but he receives 12.9m

That's rich: Kaka may be a bit-part player but he receives 12.9m

This is a reference to the note he scrawled on a napkin for Zinedine Zidane when the two met prior to the Frenchman signing for Madrid from Juventus.

Perez was alerted to the rolling cameras by Casillas, who told him: 'Be careful, president. They are filming.'

The man who landed Zidane as well as Luis Figo, Ronaldo and David Beckham in the team that became known as the Galaticos wants another earth-shattering signing to send out a message to football's new money.

Messi's Barcelona team-mate David Villa, another former Chelsea target, could also be on his way out of Spain after being edged out at the Nou Camp.

The 31-year-old was the last of former president Joan Laporta's signings and is on a €6m-a-year deal that runs until 2014. He has started six league games this season.

Barcelona cash in on Lionel Messi & Co with Qatar Airways shirt deal

Barcelona break with tradition by cashing in on Messi & Co with Qatar Airways deal

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

11:22 GMT, 20 November 2012

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UPDATED:

13:28 GMT, 20 November 2012

Barcelona have sparked controversy by turning their back on 112 years of history with their latest shirt sponsorship deal.

The Spanish giants have agreed for Qatar Airways to be emblazoned on their famous scarlet and blue shirts from the beginning of next season.

Major attraction: Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Major attraction: Barcelona star Lionel Messi

How Martin Samuel highlighted Barca's greed

Almighty Barcelona more than a club Not when they claim moral authority

Forget the halo, even the blessed Barcelona are tainted by greed

The Doha-state run airline will replace current sponsors The Qatar Foundation, who provide funding for health and education projects and will revert to the club's official human development partner.

The move is part of Barcelona's five-year deal with Qatar Sports Investments worth 125 million

But it has angered some fans as it will be the first time a corporate logo will appear on the shirts.

For years, Barcelona refused to follow their European rivals and have a shirt sponsor.

They finally relented in 2003 by allowing the children's charity UNICEF, to occupy their famous shirts.

In 2010 The Qatar Foundation, another charitable organisation, became the first brand to be allowed on the shirts.

Sandro Rosell, president of Barcelona, has welcomed Qatar Airways as 'an ambitious brand with global aspirations, always committed to achieving the utmost excellence in its field'.

Centre of attention: Messi training in Moscow for Tuesday's Champions League tie

Centre of attention: Messi training in Moscow for Tuesday's Champions League tie

Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, added: 'We are delighted to form this alliance with FC Barcelona, the biggest football club in the world. Qatar Airways has been voted best airline in the world for two consecutive years and will work with FC Barcelona on activities of benefit both to fans and passengers, offering tangible rewards to both organisations.'

Rosell also stressed that 'after sharing two fantastic years with Qatar
Foundation, we are delighted to be continuing our relationship by
welcoming them as our official Human Development Partner.'

A Qatar Foundation spokesperson said: 'When we started this fantastic journey with FC Barcelona, our objective was to work closely with the club, the team and the supporters to promote awareness of Qatar Foundation on an international scale. This has been a huge success.

'In fact, the first two years of the collaboration have surpassed our expectations and we are looking to deepen and strengthen our relationship with FC Barcelona and its supporters around the world in our continued role as a proud partner of the club.'

No logo: Rivaldo (right) in 2002

No logo: Rivaldo (right) in 2002

First step: Ronaldinho in UNICEF sponsored shirt in 2007

First step: Ronaldinho in UNICEF sponsored shirt in 2007

A big deal for Barca

When the Qatar Foundation agreed to become the new shirt sponsors at Barcelona, the club certainly did not make the concession on the cheap.

For the Catalan giants, who famously withstood commercial pressure for a shirt sponsor until 2011, agreed a 125m deal over five seasons that would see the non-profit making government-backed organisation of the Middle East state receive global exposure in return.

It was not a move that was free of controversy. Opponents highlighted Qatar's poor human rights record and argued whether it was right that Barcelona should be promoting such an organisation.

However, it appears that the goalposts have now been moved within two years of that orginial announcement. It would appear that Barcelona's members – who voted originally to accept the deal – are being weaned off the concept of the club promoting a quasi-charitable cause for one that is purely commercial.

Barcelona are able to do this because the contract was signed with the Qatar Sports Investment group – a company who have the power to change the name on the shirt in the third year of their agreement.

A clause in the contract has seen them to do just that. Barcelona will not receive any more money for the sleight-of-hand which has seen Qatar Airways take over the role as shirt sponsors next season, save for the 25m chunk that has already been agreed between the parties.

However, the deal remains the most lucrative in world football, outstripping Bayern Munich's 23m with Deutsche Telecom and those agreed with English football's Manchester United, (Chevrolet) Manchester City, (Etihad Airways) and Liverpool. (Standard Chartered).

By Neil Moxley

Barcelona break with tradition by cashing in on Messi & Co with Qatar Airways shirt deal

Barcelona break with tradition by cashing in on Messi & Co with Qatar Airways deal

|

UPDATED:

11:46 GMT, 20 November 2012

Barcelona have sparked controversy by turning their back on 112 years of history with their latest shirt sponsorship deal.

The Spanish giants have agreed for Qatar Airways to be emblazoned on their famous scarlet and blue shirts from the beginning of next season.

Major attraction: Barcelona star Lionel Messi

Major attraction: Barcelona star Lionel Messi

How Martin Samuel highlighted Barca's greed

Almighty Barcelona more than a club Not when they claim moral authority

Forget the halo, even the blessed Barcelona are tainted by greed

The Doha-state run airline will replace current sponsors The Qatar Foundation, who provide funding for health and education projects and will revert to the club's official human development partner.

The move is part of Barcelona's five-year deal with Qatar Sports Investments worth 125 million

But it has angered some fans as it will be the first time a corporate logo will appear on the shirts.

For years, Barcelona refused to follow their European rivals and have a shirt sponsor.

They finally relented in 2003 by allowing the children's charity UNICEF, to occupy their famous shirts.

In 2010 The Qatar Foundation, another charitable organisation, became the first brand to be allowed on the shirts.

Sandro Rosell, president of Barcelona, has welcomed Qatar Airways as 'an ambitious brand with global aspirations, always committed to achieving the utmost excellence in its field'.

Centre of attention: Messi training in Moscow for Tuesday's Champions League tie

Centre of attention: Messi training in Moscow for Tuesday's Champions League tie

Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, added: 'We are delighted to form this alliance with FC Barcelona, the biggest football club in the world. Qatar Airways has been voted best airline in the world for two consecutive years and will work with FC Barcelona on activities of benefit both to fans and passengers, offering tangible rewards to both organisations.'

Rosell also stressed that 'after sharing two fantastic years with Qatar
Foundation, we are delighted to be continuing our relationship by
welcoming them as our official Human Development Partner.'

A Qatar Foundation spokesperson said: 'When we started this fantastic journey with FC Barcelona, our objective was to work closely with the club, the team and the supporters to promote awareness of Qatar Foundation on an international scale. This has been a huge success.

'In fact, the first two years of the collaboration have surpassed our expectations and we are looking to deepen and strengthen our relationship with FC Barcelona and its supporters around the world in our continued role as a proud partner of the club.'

No logo: Rivaldo (right) in 2002

No logo: Rivaldo (right) in 2002

First step: Ronaldinho in UNICEF sponsored shirt in 2007

First step: Ronaldinho in UNICEF sponsored shirt in 2007

A big deal for Barca

When the Qatar Foundation agreed to become the new shirt sponsors at Barcelona, the club certainly did not make the concession on the cheap.

For the Catalan giants, who famously withstood commercial pressure for a shirt sponsor until 2011, agreed a 125m deal over five seasons that would see the non-profit making government-backed organisation of the Middle East state receive global exposure in return.

It was not a move that was free of controversy. Opponents highlighted Qatar's poor human rights record and argued whether it was right that Barcelona should be promoting such an organisation.

However, it appears that the goalposts have now been moved within two years of that orginial announcement. It would appear that Barcelona's members – who voted originally to accept the deal – are being weaned off the concept of the club promoting a quasi-charitable cause for one that is purely commercial.

Barcelona are able to do this because the contract was signed with the Qatar Sports Investment group – a company who have the power to change the name on the shirt in the third year of their agreement.

A clause in the contract has seen them to do just that. Barcelona will not receive any more money for the sleight-of-hand which has seen Qatar Airways take over the role as shirt sponsors next season, save for the 25m chunk that has already been agreed between the parties.

However, the deal remains the most lucrative in world football, outstripping Bayern Munich's 23m with Deutsche Telecom and those agreed with English football's Manchester United, (Chevrolet) Manchester City, (Etihad Airways) and Liverpool. (Standard Chartered).

Pep Guardiola to leave Barcelona

I'm off! Man City and Chelsea on alert as Guardiola tells Messi and co he's leaving Barca

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UPDATED:

09:01 GMT, 27 April 2012

Pep Guardiola has ended almost 30 years association with Barcelona by telling his players that this season will be his last.

The Spaniard, who has overseen the team's rise into one of the greatest club sides of all time, will end his four-year managerial stint having seen them slip below Real Madrid domestically, and also lose their hold on the Champions League.

Guardiola will become one of world football's most sought after coaches – with Chelsea leading the way – but is understood to be considering taking a year out of the game.

Following Barcelona’s stunning defeat by Chelsea on Tuesday and the impending coronation of Real as champions of Spain, 41-year-old Guardiola informed the club of his decision, which is thought to be that he feels both he and the players would benefit from a change.

A press conference will be held later this morning.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

End of the road Pep Guardiola will announce he is to leave Barcelona at the end of the season

PEP'S TROPHIES

La Liga
2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11

Champions League
2009, 2011

Copa del Rey
2009 (2012 still to play)

Spanish Super Cup
2009, 2010, 2011

UEFA Super Cup
2009, 2011

FIFA Club World Cup
2009, 2011

Guardiola, who is not under
consideration for any role with England, spent three hours at the home
of Barcelona president Sandro Rosell on Thursday and was told he would
have funds to strengthen his side this summer.

Yet,
rather than agree to another year at the Nou Camp, Guardiola informed
Rosell of his reservations and spent the rest of the day with his
family. He passed his decision to the president but Rosell asked him to
sleep on it.

Guardiola has
had concerns this season that his relationship with some players has
changed and certain standards are not being upheld. He believes his
departure would prompt a fresh approach, benefiting the club and squad.

Guardiola, who was born and raised in Santpedor, a town in central Catalonia, first joined Barcelona in 1983, where he trained until his breakthrough in 1990.

He remained until 2001 and returned to manager Barca B in 2007 before making a step into the top job four years ago.

Since taking over from Frank Rijkaard, Guardiola has led Barca to three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues, three Spanish Super cups, one Copa del Rey – with a final to come next month – two World Club Cups and two UEFA Super Cups, a total of 13.

More to follow….

Misery: Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions league by Chelsea on Tuesday night

Misery: Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions league by Chelsea on Tuesday night

Misery: Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions league by Chelsea on Tuesday night

Are you watching, Roman Roberto Di Matteo (centre) has led the Blues to the Champions League final

Are you watching, Roman Roberto Di Matteo (above) has led the Blues to the Champions League final

Are you watching, Roman Roberto Di Matteo (centre) has led the Blues to the Champions League final

Main man: Guardiola has won 13 trophies in his four years in charge

Main man: Guardiola has won 13 trophies in his four years in charge

Will Pep Guardiola leave Barcelona for Chelsea?

Will Guardiola take a break from football or make straight for the Bridge

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 26 April 2012

It will be remembered as the long goodbye of resignations if — as expected — Pep Guardiola confirms he will not be continuing as Barcelona head coach next season.

He told the club’s sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta, last November that he did not feel he had the physical and mental strength for another season in charge.

The doubts were expressed as his assistant, Tito Vilanova, had emergency surgery to remove a tumour on a gland in his throat. He was urged to reconsider and Vilanova’s return to work encouraged the club to think he would change his mind.

Plenty to ponder: Pep Guardiola looks set to leave Barcelona

Plenty to ponder: Pep Guardiola looks set to leave Barcelona

But the months have passed with no extension signed on his contract, which ends in June, and after Barcelona’s chances of retaining the league and Champions League ended this week he was urged to make a decision for the good of the club.

Hours after Barca’s exit from the Champions League at the hands of Chelsea, the 41-year-old coach met club president Sandro Rosell, Zubizarreta, club vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu and Vilanova to discuss his future. The breakfast meeting lasted three hours and on Thursday night, as the club remained tight-lipped, no news was being seen as not good news by the club’s supporters.

The last coach to leave, Frank Rijkaard, took a year off after the strains of coaching at the Nou Camp. Roman Abramovich, who has made no secret of his desire to take Guardiola to Stamford Bridge, must wait to see if Guardiola wants to copy Rijkaard.

Next Guardiola is wanted by Chelsea despite Roberto Di Matteo's fine work

Next Guardiola is wanted by Chelsea despite Roberto Di Matteo's fine work

Guardiola is fond of London and has never made a secret of his wish to coach in England one day, having missed out on the experience as a player.

He will talk to his players on Friday morning before training. Barca club captain Xavi Hernandez, speaking before last week’s El Clasico, said: ‘We don’t talk about it in the dressing room. We want him to continue, but it is up to him.’

Guardiola’s ability to lift the squad has been one of the factors in his decision. He said last season: ‘After a certain time in charge they just get tired of you and you of them.’

He has left out key players this season, with Gerard Pique and Dani Alves starting the first and second legs respectively against Chelsea on the bench.

Decisions: Guardiola has not been slow to drop players such as Gerard Pique

Decisions: Guardiola has not been slow to drop players such as Gerard Pique

‘Pique leads a full life,’ said his coach ahead of the second leg — a reference to the player’s off-the-field profile overshadowing his on-field performances this season. The hugely successful coach has moved on big names in the past but this season it appears he will be the one to depart.

Guardiola’s agent Josep Maria Orobitg has received offers throughout the season and Chelsea’s interest is an open secret. If Guardiola confirms his decision to leave he will take three weeks to consider his plans.

Barcelona could wait until the end of the season to appoint Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa or move now for former Barcelona player Ernesto Valverde, who has quit Olympiakos after winning his third Greek Super League. Valverde has worked with Zubizarreta at Athletic Bilbao.