Guardiola: I will stay at Barcelona another year

Guardiola: I will stay at Barcelona another year

Published May. 28, 2011 11:42 p.m. ET

After leading Barcelona to a second Champions League title in three seasons, Pep Guardiola said Saturday that he will stay as coach for one more year

Rumors were rife in the Spanish press that Guardiola was set to quit after the final but, having guided his side to a 3-1 win over Manchester United, the former midfielder wants to stay on.

Guardiola said that the quality of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, who scored Barcelona's crucial second goal and won the man-of-the-match award, had persuaded him.

''My future will be very tough because I will be at another club with other players, thinking ''where are these kinds of players?'' Guardiola said. ''Now I feel I have one more year in my admiration.''


Lauded for shaping one of the greatest club sides in football history, Guardiola praised his players but was resolutely unromantic about his future.

''People say 'Pep is good, but you only have to miss one year and they fire you,''' Guardiola said. ''A coach depends on the players.

''Obviously, you have girls falling at your feet when you win, but that can change overnight.''

Guardiola has now won 10 titles - including two European Cups - in his three years in charge of the club he served as a player for 17 years. Alex Ferguson, the most decorated manager in English football history, has needed 25 years with United to win the same number of Champions League titles.

Guardiola inherited the bulk of his squad from predecessor Frank Rijkaard, who led the club to its first European Cup for 14 years in 2006.

But steeped in the club's traditions and in tune with the coaching methods bestowed by former player and coach Johan Cruyff, Guardiola has managed to coax a brand of one-touch passing that has lifted the team to another level.

The only possible criticism of his tactics is that Barcelona would appear to have no ''Plan B'' to back up its pressing defensive game and swift tiki-taka passing. The important thing, though, is that the players almost never need one.

Three straight Spanish league titles and another win over United shows as much.

Ferguson backed his rival to keep ignoring the temptation to quit at the top.

''In my time as manager, it's the best team I've faced,'' Ferguson said. ''For Pep, if he really is considering that, he's never going to experience that again, that's for sure.''