Guardiola to take sabbatical from football

April 27th, 2012 - 9:30 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 27 (IANS) Pep Guardiola, who announced Friday that he would quit as Barcelona coach at the end of the season, will be taking a year away from the game.

The club appointed his assistant Tito Vilanova as his successor.

Guardiola also ended all speculations that he would be taking over the reigns as Chelsea manager by saying that he never met anyone from Chelsea and is not interested in coaching for now.

“I never met with Roman Abramovich nor any Chelsea representative,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by the British media.

“I’m not interested in coaching now. My desire is to do other things. Maybe sometime in the future I will go back to a bench, but I don’t know at the moment.”

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is said to be interested in signing Guardiola for the vacant managerial spot at Stamford Bridge. Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo can breathe a sigh of relief as he looks to cement his place as Chelsea’s permanent manager.

The decision to quit comes after the Spanish giants were dumped out of the Champions League semi-final by Chelsea Tuesday and also losing to bitter rivals Real Madrid at home Saturday to end all hopes of retaining the league title.

Guardiola’s last match at the helm of the Catalan club will be the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao May 25. His contract ends at the end of the season and he rejected Barcelona’s offer to extend his tenure.

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