|Barcelona are poised to make the Champions League quarter-finals but trail Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the domestic Primera Division by ten points [GETTY]|
Pep Guardiola still has not decided whether he wants to continue coaching Barcelona beyond this season.
The 41-year-old Guardiola, who has won 13 out of a possible 16 titles since taking over the European champions nearly four seasons ago, said he would like to have made a decision already but he remains uncertain.
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“I would have liked to have made my decision earlier but it still isn’t clear to me,” Guardiola said Saturday.
“It’s a personal question. I need to find the motivation to continue and it still isn’t clear.”
Guardiola had signed consecutive one-year extensions after initially agreeing to a two-year deal to start the 2008-09 season.
Barcelona have reached the Copa del Rey final and are poised to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, but the three-time defending Spanish champions trail league leaders Real Madrid by 10 points.
Guardiola’s position has become a distraction for Barcelona since he had agreed to extensions by this stage of the season in the past two years.
Guardiola said the Catalan club had not issued any ultimatums to him about making the decision.
“Right now I prefer to take a little more time. I don’t want to say yet, I need to feel certain,” the former Barcelona player said.
“If people respect that, great, if not, too bad. This is the situation there is, I’ve already answered many questions about it and I have nothing else to say.”
Barcelona go into Sunday’s match against Valencia on the heels of only their second loss of the season, at Osasuna.
They won 3-1 at Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday but this season has been more complicated for Guardiola with midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta having been sidelined by injury.
Guardiola benched defender Gerard Pique on Wednesday in Germany.
Since Guardiola’s arrival, Barcelona have won three straight Spanish leagues, two Champions Leagues, two Club World Cups, two European Super Cups, three Spanish Supercups and a Copa del Rey.