Guardiola says to return to coaching next season

ZURICH Mon Jan 7, 2013 10:52pm IST

FIFA Men's Coach of the Year nominees Vicente del Bosque of Spain and his compatriot Pep Guardiola (R) address a news conference before the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2012 Gala at the Kongresshaus in Zurich January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

FIFA Men's Coach of the Year nominees Vicente del Bosque of Spain and his compatriot Pep Guardiola (R) address a news conference before the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2012 Gala at the Kongresshaus in Zurich January 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Buholzer

ZURICH (Reuters) - Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has confirmed he plans to return to management next season after a year's sabbatical.

The Spaniard, who turns 42 this month, stepped down at the end of last term after four triumphant years in which Barca won 14 of the 19 trophies they contested, including two Champions League crowns and three La Liga titles.

"I will return (next season) because I am young, but I have been living the kind of life that I wanted and one that my family also deserved," Guardiola, who has relocated to New York with his wife and children, told a news conference at the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala on Monday.

"I don't look back," he added. "You take decisions because they have to be taken, I don't look at the reasons. The rest is not important."

A former midfielder with Barca and Spain, Guardiola said he was exhausted after four seasons in charge of the first team and needed to recharge his batteries.

He has been linked in media reports with a number of high-profile management positions, including those at Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea should they become vacant.

He would not be drawn on where he might end up.

"It would show a lack of respect on my part to talk about any team that has a coach," he said, adding that he was not interested in the Brazil job.

"It's a honour that a country with so many World Cups thinks I can lead them but I have always thought that a national team should be managed by someone from that country."

(Writing by Iain Rogers in Madrid, editing by Mark Meadows)

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