The incoming Bayern Munich manager says he is proud to have worked at Camp Nou as both player and coach but insists that chapter of his life has ended.Pep Guardiola has paid tribute to the players he worked with during his time with Barcelona, but he has stressed that now is the time to look to the future.
The 42-year-old Guardiola left Camp Nou at the end of last season and has spent the current campaign on sabbatical leave as he prepares to take over at Bayern Munich this summer. Guardiola has expressed his pride in the working relationship he enjoyed with the Blaugrana as both player and coach, but he insists the chapter of his life at the club must be considered closed.
"My time at Barcelona is over. One is born, grows, and becomes older," Guardiola said, speaking on an official visit to Buenos Aires. "When you make the decision to leave a club, it's better than when it's taken for you. I was happy at Barcelona.
"I had a wonderful relationship with those with whom I worked. The players I had love what they do. They never lost the passion they had when they were children.
"At Barca, things went well because the amateurs I knew became professionals. You are where you are because you win in big teams. Otherwise, you get a kick."
Guardiola refused to be drawn on commenting on his new side, however, simply stating: "It would be wrong to talk of Bayern. When I am there, I will start to talk about them."
Finally, the former Spain international tipped La Roja as favorites to lift the World Cup in 2014, but warned of three sides who could make the defense of their crown difficult.
"Spain is the favorite to win the World Cup. Germany, Brazil and Argentina are also candidates," Guardiola said.