Barca confirm Rijkaard exit

09 May 2008 07:07
Barcelona have confirmed that coach Frank Rijkaard will leave the club at the end of the season to be replaced by former midfield ace Josep Guardiola. The Dutchman still had another year of his Camp Nou contract to run, but has been told that a change will be made, following a disappointing season in La Liga which has seen Barca fail to mount a title challenge. President Joan Laporta told the club's official website: "Frank has done an excellent job and behaved excellently. "We will remember Frank Rijkaard as the coach who led the recovery of the team and in three years took it to the (Champions League) glory of Paris. "His record was exceptional and should not be obscured by the results of the last two seasons. We can conclude that Frank Rijkaard has made history. "However, it's the end of a cycle and the results haven't gone our way. It's proof that the mistakes we detected last year haven't been corrected." Of Rijkaard's successor, Laporta added: "We believe in Guardiola to lead the new sporting project. He guarantees renewed continuity in the footballing style that has given us success. "He has the knowledge, the enthusiasm, the self-confidence and the love for the club that are necessary." Rijkaard was in charge at Barca for five years, helping the club to two league titles, two Copa del Rey triumphs and Champions League glory in May 2006.

Source: ESA