[WORLD VIEW] Pep Guardiola has decided to quit coaching Barcelona. At 41, age isn't an issue. Failure isn't the problem.
Yes, a 2-1 defeat at home to Real Madrid in La Liga and a 1-0 loss to Chelsea three days earlier in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League mean that Barca won't defend its La Liga and European
titles. But they are two of only three defeats in 57 competitive matches for Barca this season.
Just as players get tired from the long European seasons -- and Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Xavi indeed looked tired in recent weeks -- so do their coaches from the mental strain.
Guardiola never indicated he would last more than a few years at Barcelona -- “Either you get tired of the players or they get tired of you," he once said -- and he has shown no indication of wanting to do anything more than taking a break and spending time with his wife and their three children.
He has a standing offer from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich to take over Chelsea any time he wants, but that can wait.
Guardiola will go out having achieved one of the most successful four-year runs a coach has ever achieved at a major club:
-- In his four seasons, Barca has lost just 19 times in 239 matches, just 10 in La Liga and five in the Champions League. Its seven losses in 2008-09 were the most in a season. Barca lost four games in 2009-10 and six in 2010-11.
-- Barcelona won six trophies in all six competitions it entered in 2009: La Liga, Copa del Rey, Supercopa, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
-- Barcelona won five trophies in 2011. The only trophy it did not win was the Copa del Rey. It fell to Real Madrid, 1-0, in overtime in the final.
-- It captured three straight La Liga titles, the first time a team won three in a row since Barca's Dream Team of the early 1990s.
-- It has won at least two trophies in every competition except the Copa del Rey. Barcelona will have a chance to win its second cup title under Guardiola when it faces Athletic Bilbao on May 25 in his farewell game.