May 26, 2013
Guardiola exit changes nothing for Real, Mourinho says
Josep Guardiola's decision to step down as Barcelona coach at the end of the season will change nothing for Real Madrid, Guardiola's Real counterpart and bitter rival Jose Mourinho said today.
In his first public comments since Guardiola announced on Friday he was taking a sabbatical, Mourinho, whose Real side are on the brink of taking Barca's La Liga crown, said the decision should be respected and even sent his adversary a hug.
"The Guardiola case is a personal decision," Mourinho told a news conference a day before Real play at Athletic Bilbao, when victory would wrap up their first domestic league title in four years with two games to play.
"It's his, he is the one who knows, he is the one who knows why, he is one who has to comment on it, he is the one who has to do what makes him happiest at any given time," the former Inter Milan, Chelsea and Porto manager added.
"I have been a coach for 12 years and for me I will be annoyed in June when I don't have any matches as I will miss training and playing, playing and training.
"But everyone is the way they are and you have to respect and accept that and hope that they really do find enjoyment because the most important thing in life is to enjoy it.
"If for him enjoying life means withdrawing from football for a while then so be it and I send him a hug."