Pep Guardiola revealed that he no longer had the energy to continue as Barcelona boss after his departure from the club was confirmed at a press conference on Friday
The 41-year-old's future has been the subject of speculation for some time and he has now decided to step down at the end of the season rather than renew his contract, with Tito Vilanova coming in to replace him.
While recent losses against Real Madrid and Chelsea may have left Barca with little else to play for this term and allowed him to make his announcement before the summer, Guardiola says his mind had been virtually made up for six months.
Having won 13 trophies with Barca since replacing Frank Rijkaard at the helm in 2008, Guardiola believes he has taken the club as far as he can.
"Four years is an eternity as Barca coach," Guardiola told a news conference packed with journalists and players.
"With time everything runs out of steam. I am drained and I need to take a step back and replenish."
Guardiola, who stood and embraced club president Sandro Rosell after making his statement from the podium, is now planning to take a 12-month break from the game.
"The reason is simple, four years are long and they wear you down. I think sincerely that the next person will have things to bring that I can't," he said.
"Every day during four years, the demands are very high, the pressure, the necessary energy to push the players and enjoy it. I need to rest and move away."
Guardiola also apologised for the confusion surrounding his future at the club and paid tribute to all the players that he had worked with.
"I'm very sorry for all of the uncertainty I created over this time over my future, maybe that was an error of mine," Guardiola said. "I didn't mean to create this kind of mood.
"The demands have been great and I have not been able to rest much. I have to recover and the only way I can do that is by distancing myself. Otherwise, we would have ended up damaging each other.
"I know that I'm leaving the best place to work in. I am very satisfied with the result we have achieved.
"I have had the great privilege of coaching fantastic players. I want to thank them."