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Pep Guardiola: I’m almost back … any takers?

Jan 7, 2013, 12:28 PM EDT

Men's Coach of the Year nominee Guardiola of Spain addresses a news conference before the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2012 Gala in Zurich

Highly successful manager Pep Guardiola, architect of the inimitable Barcelona teams of the last few years, has hung out the “Open For Business” sign, apparently.

Guardiola won almost everything he could during four supremely successful seasons with Barcelona. But at just 41 years old he took a sabbatical from soccer beginning last summer, moving his family to New York.

In the interim, the next speculative news piece or internet post linking Guardiola to Chelsea or to Manchester United (as Sir Alex Ferguson’s eventual successor) was never far away. We all assumed Guardiola would be back in the game eventually, so it always seemed like fair game.

Today, the day of Guardiola’s celebrated return seems a little closer. Maybe even a little more than “a little.”  During a news conference prior to today’s announcement in Zurich of the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, Guardiola sounded like man about ready to lean into his next project:

“Yes I would like to come back to coaching.

“I have been out of coaching for a year and it’s what I would like but there is no reason to give any more specific details.

“I don’t have a team to go to but I would like to go back to coaching. I have taken a decision to return to coaching but beyond that no decision has been taken.”

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