Football

The end of an era: Josep Guardiola

Updated 6:56 AM ET, Wed January 16, 2013
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Pep Guardiola has been on a year-long sabbatical in the U.S. after stepping down as Barcelona coach, but he returned to Europe in January for the Ballon d'Or when he was shortlisted for FIFA's world coach of the year award. Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images
When he confirmed he was to end his four-year reign as Barcelona coach, Guardiola gave an emotional press conference. AFP/Getty Images
Guardiola announced his intent to quit at the end of last season just three days after the club's Champions League semifinal exit against Chelsea, drawing 2-2 at home and losing 3-2 on aggregate. He left a remarkable legacy. AFP/Getty Images
He was massively popular at the Camp Nou after four trophy-laden seasons. Here he is thrown in the air by his players after winning the FIFA Club World Cup for the second time in December 2011, having been the first team from Spain to win it two years earlier. AFP/Getty Images
Guardiola congratulates Barca players Cesc Fabregas and Javier Mascherano after winning the Spanish Supercup against Real Madrid at the start of the 2011-12 season. Getty Images
Guardiola lifts the 2011Champions League trophy after Barca beat Manchester United at Wembley. The 41-year-old has earned a reputation as a coach who prepares meticulously for matches. Getty Images
Guardiola won the FIFA Men's Football Coach of the Year award in January 2012. "I can't promise you silverware, but I can say that we'll keep on battling to the end and you'll be proud of us," he said after becoming coach four years ago. AFP/Getty Images
In the 2009 calendar year, Guardiola won six trophies in total -- the Copa del Rey, La Liga, the European Champions League, the Spanish Supercup, the UEFA Supercup and the Club World Cup. AFP/Getty Images
Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta shakes hands with Guardiola on June 5, 2008. The Catalan club's 15th coach arrived with the mission to end a two-season trophy drought -- he didn't disappoint. AFP/Getty Images
As a player, Guardiola spent more than a decade in Barcelona's senior team, winning six Spanish titles and one European Cup. He captained Spain to a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and went to the 1994 World Cup. AFP/Getty Images
He joined Barca's famed La Masia youth academy in 1984, and wore the No. 4 shirt until leaving for Italy in 2001. Getty Images
He had two spells at Serie A side Brescia either side of a brief time at Roma, and is pictured playing against Perugia in 2002. Getty Images
Guardiola left Europe to join Qatar's Al-Ahly from 2003 to 2005, then joined Mexico's Dorades de Sinaloa for a season before finally hanging up his boots. AFP/Getty Images
Guardiola is pictured here with fellow Spaniard Jose Maria Olzabal at the Ryder Cup after Europe produced a remarkable comeback to win the tournament at Medinah in the U.S. Getty Images