By Ines Barbosa: April 27th, 2012. Pep Guardiola, who had been FC Barcelona’s hero for the past four years, handles over his resignation. The world was quite shocked by this: no one could have expected that a coach who had won 14 out of 19 possible trophies in his career as Barça’s coach and who had everything to keep winning – despite the not so good season the team was having and his visible weariness of all the rivalry between him and José Mourinho – would resign so soon.
The reasons were not so clear, but one thing was certain: whoever came next would have a hell of an inheritance to keep up and a difficult job convincing the public that he was worth it, following on the steps of someone so special to Barça as Guardiola always were and will be.
The successor was presented in the same day: Tito Vilanova, who had been Pep’s right-hand and close friend for the past four years. It was shocking to many that the club had chosen a 43-year old whose experience was summed up as the team’s assistant coach during the Guardiola era and a brief passage as manager of Barça’s Under 17s team back in 2001/2002.