Barcelona skipper Carlos Puyol praises outgoing coach Pep Guardiola for creating a "legendary" European powerhouse and endorses the appointment of Tito Vilanova as his replacement.
BARCELONA, SPAIN (APRIL 28, 2012) (REUTERS) -Barcelona captain Carles Puyol said on Saturday (April 28) outgoing coach Pep Guardiola would been remembered for creating a "legendary" team acknowledged all over the world.
Guardiola announced on Friday (April 27) his intention to step aside at the end of the season to rest and recuperate after four years in charge at the Catalan club.
"I say to all that what he (Guardiola) has given us is his ideas and his way of living football, understanding it and facing the matches," Puyol told reporters.
"I think the whole world has seen a legendary team that will always be remembered.
"I haven't thought about a farewell. I hope he has a farewell as he deserves so much for everything he has given us."
Current Barcelona assistant Tito Vilanova will replace Guardiola at the end of the season.
Vilanova, who had an undistinguished career as a player but has been a crucial part of Guardiola's coaching success, received Puyol's full backing.
"He (Tito Vilanova) is a coach who know the team better than anyone, he knows a lot about football, who perfectly knows this team's philosophy," he said.
"He has worked with Pep for five years. I think he is the ideal person to go on with this project."
Guardiola's announcement came three days after Barcelona were denied a place in the Champions League final by Chelsea and followed last weekend's 2-1 La Liga defeat at home to bitter rivals Real Madrid that all-but ended the club's hopes of a fourth straight Spanish league crown.
But Barcelona can still claim some silverware this season when they play in the King's Cup final against Europa League finalists Athletic Bilbao.
"We are going to try to go on as we always do, go for the win and try to win every match" Puyol said.
"There is still a title on stake, a very beautiful match ahead.
"And that one is gong to be the coach's farewell. It is motivating to win a title but it is even more now as we want to win it for him."