Barcelona's controversial Dutch coach Louis van Gaal revealed Saturday at a press conference that he was quitting the deposed Spanish champions even though he had two years left on his contract.
"Friends and friends of the press, I'm off. Goodbye," said Van Gaal. "I'm leaving because I am in agreement with president Nunez (Barca president Josep Lluis Nunez)."
Nunez, president of Barcelona for the past 22 years, officially confirmed his resignation last Wednesday and announced new elections for the post in July.
"He supported me from the first and for me this is very important," said Van Gaal.
The Dutchman has never been a popular figure with the Barcelona fans, despite bringing the club two consecutive Spanish league titles in the two years after his arrival in June 1997.
Backing for the coach has dwindled following a string of poor league results which saw the Nou Camp outfit surrender the title to Deportivo La Coruna and the club's failure to reach the final of the European Champions League after a defeat to Spanish rivals Valencia.
According to Spanish media, Van Gaal handed in his resignation as soon as the Spanish club was beaten in the Champions League, but Nunez refused to accept it.
Van Gaal's resignation could almost certainly secure Brazilian Rivaldo's position at the club. Rivaldo and Van Gaal have reportedly been at loggerheads in the past few months.
At one stage Van Gaal announced his willingness to sell the star player to an Italian team - while a new coach would undoubtedly want Rivaldo to stay.
-- (Several Sources)
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