BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 05: FC Barcelona players throw Josep Guardiola into the air at the end of the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou on May 5, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. This was Guardiola's last home match. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Josep Guardiola's last home game as manager for Barcelona (at least, as far as we know) was a 4-0 local derby win over Espanyol, but the sending off of a living legend was even more memorable than Leo Messi's 4 goals.
It started with a video on the Camp Nou screens displaying a highlight reel, set to Coldplay, of Pep Guardiola's time at the club- a magical four years in which the Catalonia native went from relatively unknown as a manager to the most successful strategist the team has ever had in its storied history.
The players clapped, and thousands of spectators, too. This time it was a more fitting song that rang out: "Que Tinguem Sort", a song by another Catalan, Lluís Llach. Roughly, it means "let us both be lucky." It's a song that acknowledges the sad nature of an inevitable parting, while wishing well to both parties. Pep checked the microphone he was given.
The crowd chanted his name, but Guardiola was his usual unassuming self. "We'll do this quickly, they're going to the showers," he began, referring to the players. What follows is a translated version of his speech, which was given in Catalan."Life has given me this gift, in these five years we have been able to enjoy the best spectacle. I'm not too different from you. I have been a privileged spectator, same as all of you, just a bit closer to these fantastic players. You don't know how much I value being so loved during this time, feeling so loved and so valued during the display today, at all times, during four or five years, day-to-day. You don't know how happy I feel.
"Thanks to everyone, especially the ones closest to me who worked hard so that you could have a good time watching us play football. And to the others who haven't been as close, well, I have felt very close. Know that I will miss you all. The one who loses is me. I leave you in the best of hands. Know that I leave you with the best players. The belt was squeezing me and I took it off. But you keep it on, because this continues. You'll do well. I wish you the best, and good luck. See you soon, because you'll never lose me."
After his speech, the players threw him into the air, recalling a famous moment in Barca history. The players and staff held hands and ran around the center circle. accompanied by more Coldplay (must be his favorite band?)
Pep waved to the crowd and made his way through a tunnel of Barca players back into the dressing rooms. Not the manager anymore, but he'll always be a part of any heart that has red-and-blue stripes.