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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Pep Guardiola: 'I will coach next year'

Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said Monday he plans to return to coaching next year, although he would not confirm that he has found a team.

"I feel like coaching. My mind is made up," he said Monday in Zurich during interviews prior to the Ballon d'Or gala. Guardiola is nominated for the Coach of the Year award along with Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque and Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho. He won the award last year.

Guardiola said he would like to coach a winning club and reminded reporters "I am only 41." He said he is "enjoying the spectacle" of seeing Barcelona play and congratulated the team for keeping up the level of play and "even improving it" since he left the team.

He said that since he started his sabbatical last fall he has been "enjoying soccer as a fan," and that "soccer looks different when you are not working."

"The result is the fruit of a collective effort on the part of many, among them myself, that began a long time ago and now continues," Guardiola said.

Regarding rumors that he was tapped to coach Brazil's national team, a job eventually given to Luis Felipe Solari, Guardiola said "it was an honor" to be considered, but that the job belonged to a Brazilian coach.

Guardiola said it would show a "lack of respect" to answer a question about joining Bayern Munich. Information from The Associated Press and Efe News Agency was used in this report.

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