— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 1, 2017
Luis Enrique has announced he will step down as Barcelona head coach at the end of this season.
The 46-year-old’s contract expires in June and he will not renew, citing the “need for rest”.
Luis Enrique confirmed the news in the wake of Barca’s 6-1 win over Sporting Gijon on Wednesday, which, temporarily at least, took them above Real Madrid at the top of the table.
“I want to announce to everyone that I won’t continue at Barcelona next year. It’s difficult, but a decision I have thought about,” Luis Enrique said.
“I need to rest. That’s the main reason why I am not going to continue.”
Luis Enrique was thought to have previously come close to stepping away from the club at the end of a tumultuous first season in charge at Camp Nou.
After replacing Tata Martino following the 2014-14 season, he won a treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League titles. The following year he picked up a domestic double.
But Barcelona have had a rough stretch recently. The club are on the verge of elimination in the Champions League after losing 4-0 to PSG in the first leg of their last-16 encounter.
“It is a difficult, measured and well thought-out decision and I think I have to be loyal to what I think,” he said.
“I would like to thank the club for the confidence they have shown in me. It’s been three unforgettable years.”
Luis Enrique joined Barcelona as a player in 1996 and appeared in 207 games before retiring in 2004.
He coached Barcelona B from 2008-11 and had coaching stints with Roma and Celta before rejoining Barca’s first team in 2014.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said: “Luis Enrique has brought us great success and he can still bring us more. The players are motivated to do it.
“We accept Luis Enrique’s decision. He has been a great coach. Now is it time to end his spell in the best possible way.”