Pep Guardiola insists he will never return for a second stint as Barcelona head coach and has no interest in becoming Camp Nou president.
Guardiola masterminded a golden era with the Catalan club between 2008 and 2012, with three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues and two Club World Cups among a host of honours collected across four seasons.
Similar success followed at Bayern Munich before the 47-year-old guided Manchester City to Premier League and EFL Cup glory this term, but his time on the field and in the dugout for Barca means Guardiola remains inextricably linked to his boyhood club.
He still regularly declares himself to be a Barcelona fan but the association looks unlikely to ever extend beyond that again.
“My time there as a coach is finished because I’m not the same as I was then, nor is the way they see me the same,” Guardiola told TV3.
“I had the time of my life there. It was a fantastic age where I was taking on the world and we took it on, with some incredible players, a young president [Joan Laporta], Txiki [Begiristain, now City’s director of football].
“It was a generation of brutal players and the best player in the world [Lionel Messi]. The stars aligned.”
A job upstairs is not one Guardiola envisages for himself either, as he is keen to indulge another of his passions when he leaves top-level coaching.
“President? No, I am a coach and I am good at what I do, you can’t be everything,” he said.
“When I stop coaching, you will find me playing golf.”
City smashed club and divisional records as they stormed to the Premier League title and racked up an unprecedented 100 points in 2017-18.
But Guardiola still feels his old employers – double winners once more in Spain under Ernesto Valverde – represent the gold standard.
“FC Barcelona have been the best team of the season, even though they didn’t win the Champions League,” he added.
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