After four years, three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies, Pep Guardiola has decided to step down as Barcelona manager at the end of the season and take a break from the intensive atmosphere of leading "més que un club." Though Barcelona still have four league matches and the Copa del Rey final left to play, Guardiola announced his decision at a press conference on Friday (video below), which was attended by many of his frowny-faced players.
But one notable absence was Lionel Messi -- a player who won three consecutive Ballon d'Or awards under the guidance of Guardiola and a person who doesn't like to show his emotions in public. From the AFP:
"I want to thank Pep with all my heart for everything he has given me in my professional career and personally," the 24-year-old Argentinian said on his Facebook page.
"Because of the emotions I feel I preferred not to be present at Pep's press conference and to stay away from the press because I know they will look for the pain on the players' faces.
"It is something I have decided not to show."
After Guardiola announced his decision to the squad at Barca's training session before the press conference, Messi shared a laugh and a hug with him. And though Messi will surely miss him, they will always have the special times they had together...