FC Barcelona News: 28 April 2012; Gràcies Pep!

FC Barcelona - Gràcies Pep! (via fcbarcelona)

Graham Hunter -- Farewell, Pep Guardiola -- ESPN
I haven't lived his life. I'm neither his close friend nor confidant. But watching the intensity with which he works, interviewing people who work with him and for him, it would be hard not to be awestruck at how much of his life force this man has put into making Barcelona play beautifully and remorselessly.

Barcelona pressures gradually ate away at Pep Guardiola's enjoyment | Sid Lowe | Football | guardian.co.uk
Ultimately, though, the impact upon him was greater. In the end, it was too great. His left-back Eric Abidal has had a liver transplant, his assistant Tito Vilanova has had a tumour removed, he has been hospitalised with back problems. The emotional cost has been as great as the physical one. Managing Barcelona has taken its toll.

Guardiola: "I have feel emptied and I need to be refreshed" | FC Barcelona
"Four years is an eternity as Barça manager", he said. "The next person will be able to offer things that I wasn’t able to offer. It has been very demanding and a coach has to be strong and be able to get that energy across to the players. I have to recover it and I’ll do that by resting".

Pep Guardiola, the most successful manager in Barça history | FC Barcelona
With the chance of another Copa del Rey still to come, Guardiola has won 13 trophies in his four seasons in charge of the first team – unquestionably the best record for any manager of the club. Not only has no FC Barcelona manager ever won as many titles, but Guardiola also managed to do so in an amazingly short period of time.

Sandro Rosell: "Barça will be eternally grateful to the greatest manager in our history" | FC Barcelona
"For the happiness you have given us and for all you have done for your Barça; for having perfected a footballing model that can never be questioned again; for having represented the institution in such an exemplary fashion, honouring the values that define us as a Club; for all your support, affection and love".

Pep Guardiola's numbers as manager | FC Barcelona
Pep Guardiola started his career on the bench in 2007 when he took charge of Barça B when the team was in the Spanish Third Division. A year later, after having led the reserve side to Second Division B, the Catalan took the reins from Frank Rijkaard as the first-team manager. In his over 200 matches at the FC Barcelona helm he won 13 titles.

Who is Tito Vilanova? - Yahoo! Eurosport
"A lot of people believe Tito is the real brain behind Barcelona’s success, the tactical creator and the training-ground coach, with Guardiola the ‘face’ of the team, both publicly and to the players. "There is a concern that the players may still see him as a ‘number two’. In this case, it is important that the captains - the senior players like Carles Puyol, Xavi, Victor Valdes and Andres Iniesta - are with Tito.

Tito Vilanova: Homegrown, methodical and a winner | FC Barcelona
Barça's incoming manager, Tito Vilanova, knows the team perfectly. He has been Pep Guardiola’s right hand man for the past four seasons at the head of FC Barcelona. They both got their start with Barça B in 2007, the following year, after Barça B was promoted to Second Division B, they were awarded manager positions in FC Barcelona’s first team. They oversaw Barça’s most glorious era in Club history.

How the 2000s changed tactics #1: The fall and rise of the passing midfielder | Zonal Marking
It is remarkable that so much can change in such a short space of time. The biggest factor in the re-emergence of Guardiola-esque players was probably the shift away from 4-4-2 systems in the mid 2000s, towards 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 systems, both of which broadly feature three central midfielders.

Barcelona plan to visit Thailand next year after signing three-year sponsorship deal with Thai Beverage company - Goal.com
Barcelona have announced a schedule to visit Thailand next year after signing a three-year €12 million sponsorship deal with Thai Beverage company. Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus confirmed the tour and said he wanted to expand the club's fanbase in Asia especially South-East Asia.

Sanchez condemns Terry | Sky Sports
Terry was shown red for kneeing Sanchez in the back during the 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night that meant Chelsea will meet Bayern Munich in the final. The Barcelona forward says Terry should be ashamed of himself for the reckless and unprovoked challenge that left the Blues to battle for more than 50 minutes against the Spanish giants with 10 men.

Higuain set to discuss Real Madrid future - report - Goal.com
Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain is currently assessing his options, AS reports. The Argentina international has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season, but he has been consigned to the role of bench-warmer in recent months as a result of Karim Benzema's impressive form in attack.

Real Madrid on the verge of signing new Adidas deal until 2020 - report - Goal.com
Real Madrid are on the verge of signing a new sponsorship deal with Adidas until 2020, Marca claims. The figure involved in the deal has not yet been announced by either side, but the new deal will certainly represent an improvement on the €35 million received by the club that pertained to 2011-12.

Pedro León, I’m staying at Getafe | LFP
Pedro León, the Getafe player, has confirmed he will continue with the team next season: "In my contract with Getafe there is a clause that says this. I hear that if the coach of Real Madrid stays, it is the same situation as last year, and so I will stay here".

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