Cruyff backs Guardiola's decision
Johan Cruyff believes Pep Guardiola has made the right decision to walk away from Barcelona at the end the season.
Guardiola last week announced he would not be renewing his contract at the Nou Camp, despite being the most successful coach the club has ever had with 13 trophies won during his four-year tenure. They are almost certain to end this season without retaining their league and UEFA Champions League titles, though, and Guardiola has spoken of the need to "recharge his batteries" due to the high demands of managing the Catalan club.
Cruyff is better placed than most to give an assessment on the pressure of managing Barcelona as he was in charge between 1988 and 1996, and he has sympathy with Guardiola. When asked whether he agreed with the 41-year-old's choice to leave, Cruyff told Marca: "I think it's good because it is a consuming task.
"Work has been done extremely well and it takes strength to continue, especially in a very difficult time because there are changes. Everyone lives as he likes and Guardiola has taken this decision after a lengthy period and now takes a rest and I think it's well deserved."
Cruyff ultimately believes that Guardiola will return to Barcelona in some capacity after he has taken a sufficient period away from the limelight, but added: "Whether it will be as Barcelona coach, it is not known." Assistant boss Tito Vilanova has been confirmed as the replacement, with sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta saying promoting from within, as they did with Guardiola, was the best way forward.
Cruyff thinks Vilanova will need to put his own stamp on Barcelona in order to be successful. "When you are in charge you have to see how it goes," added Cruyff. "It depends on the philosophy, (former president Joan) Laporta, (former director of football Txiki) Beguiristain and Guardiola are no longer there. There are different views, new opinions and every detail is important.
"Every year you have to look at a piece, (Eric) Abidal is sick, (David) Villa will return (from injury) up front and he has a lot of quality. Villanova has to guide things."