Pep Guardiola is to step down as coach of Barcelona at the end of the season, with his assistant Tito Vilanova named as his replacement.

Guardiola has been explaining his decision not to renew his contract with the club at a press conference at the Camp Nou. Barcelona president Sandro Rosell also made the announcement that Vilanova, Guardiola's assistant since taking the job in 2008, will take the reins next season.

The news comes following Barcelona's elimination at the hands of Chelsea on Tuesday night in the Champions League. Barcelona is also almost certain to miss out on the La Liga title after being defeated by Real Madrid at the Camp Nou last Saturday.

The reason is simple, four years are long and they wear you down, Guardiola said, according to the Associated Press.

I think that sincerely that the next person will have things to bring that I can't.

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 has enjoyed an incredible four years in charge of Barcelona, becoming the most successful coach in the club's history.

The former midfielder for the Catalan club stepped up from his position in charge of the Barcelona B team in 2008 to replace departed coach Frank Rijkaard. During his reign Guardiola embraced the philosophy which he experienced as a played under Dutchman Johan Cruyff, who created the famed dream team in the early 1990s.

Under Guardiola Lionel Messi became the best player in the world, while fellow products of the club's famed La Masia academy like Xavi and Andres Iniesta were also central to Barcelona's success.

In Guardiola's time in charge, Barcelona has won two Champions Leagues and three La Ligas. Guardiola can also add to the one Copa del Rey he has already won when Barcelona face Athletic Bilbao in the final next month.