Madrid: Barcelona football club coach Pep Guardiola, speaking to the press for the first time since his resignation announcement, thanked his colleagues for praising the work he did with the Catalan giants for four years.
Speaking after the game in which Barca trashed Rayo Vallecano 7-0, Guardiola Monday paid his gratitude for the praise he had received from other coaches, among them Arsenal`s Arsene Wenger.
"I am grateful for them. I understand that my time has finished here, but the important thing is that the club and the team carry on. Tito knows them well and Barca will continue to be at the top and competing with everyone," he was quoted saying by Xinhua.
Assistant coach Aitor Karanka said Friday that the league had existed without Guardiola and would continue to do so even after his exit.
When asked for a response, Guardiola said: "What he says is obvious. The league has existed before me and will continue to do so afterwards."
Guardiola added that the result against Rayo had merely served to put back Madrid`s inevitable title celebrations.
"It doesn`t matter if they celebrate now or later, we all know they are champions. However, this game is an example of what we are this season. Every game is important for us and this will help us prepare for the Cup final (against Athletic Club Bilbao)," said Guardiola, explaining that the impending Cup final was the reason that he had chosen Jose Pinto in goal ahead of usual first choice Victor Valdes.
Tito Vilanova will replace Guardiola as the head coach.