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May 2, 2012

Cruyff: Guardiola right to leave Barca

Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has backed Pep Guardiola's decision to walk away from Camp Nou at the end of the season but believes he will return to the club in the future.

• Vilanova in for Guardiola

Guardiola, 41, last week announced he would be quitting his role as Barca coach after the current campaign, with assistant Tito Vilanova set to replace him in the hotseat.

The former Blaugrana midfielder has become the club's most successful manager of all-time since taking over from Frank Rijkaard in 2008, eclipsing even the achievments of Cruyff's famous Dream Team by claiming 13 major honours, including two Champions Leagues.

He cited a need to "recharge my batteries" as a major factor in his decision to leave the club and Cruyff, who gave Guardiola his first-team debut for Barca in 1990, believes a break from football is "well deserved".

When asked whether he agreed with the Guardiola's choice to leave, Cruyff told Marca: "I think it's good because it is a consuming task.

"Work has been done extremely well and it takes strength to continue, especially in a very difficult time because there are changes.

"Everyone lives as he likes and Guardiola has taken this decision after a lengthy period and now takes a rest and I think it's well deserved.''

Guardiola is inextricably linked with Barca having progressed through the club's academy to become a midfield lynchpin during his 11-year spell at the club, before returning to manage them after his retirement.

And Cruyff, who also enjoyed massive success with the Catalans as a player and coach, feels Guardiola will be back at Camp Nou in some capacity, adding: "Whether it will be as Barcelona coach, it is not known.''

With Vilanova set to take the reins at the end of the season, Cruyff believes it will be necessary for him to put his own stamp on Barcelona in order to be successful.

"When you are in charge you have to see how it goes,'' Cruyff said. "It depends on the philosophy, (former president Joan) Laporta, (former director of football Txiki) Begiristain and Guardiola are no longer there. There are different views, new opinions and every detail is important.

"Every year you have to look at a piece, (Eric) Abidal is sick, (David) Villa will return (from injury) up front and he has a lot of quality. Villanova has to guide things.''

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