Pep Guardiola, who will step down as Barcelona coach after the Copa del Rey final on May 25, cited fatigue for ending his hugely successful four-year run that included three La Liga and two Champions League titles.
"Four years is an eternity at Barcelona," Guardiola said. "I am the coach who has the third most number of games in the history of the club -- that tells you how difficult it is here. Time wears everything down. I could not go on. Coming here day after day, over and over again, wears you out. A coach needs energy to be at his best and the only way to get that back is to take a break and distance myself [from here]. I needed to get away from it all. ...
"Sooner or later, I might coach again, but I don't know when. At the moment I am interested in other things: there is more beyond soccer. Life will take me where it takes me."
The 41-year-old Guardiola, who guided Barca to a total of 13 titles, including two Club World Cup crowns, added: "I reached a point where I could have carried on as a coach but not in the way that a Barcelona coach should. I feel profoundly sorry, from the very deepest part of me, that I no longer have that energy that I once did. I have too much consideration for my players to carry on without that enthusiasm. I am so grateful to them: it has been a privilege to train them. They have turned ideas into reality on the field many times and there is no greater joy for a coach than that."