The Barcelona football player Lionel Messi says he felt far too emotional to face the media glare at coach Pep Guardiola's farewell announcement.
On his facebook page Messi stated: "I want to thank Pep with all my heart for everything he has given me in my professional career and personally,"
"Because of the emotions I feel I preferred not to be present at Pep's press conference and to stay away from the press because I know they will look for the pain on the players' faces."
"It is something I decided not to show."
More than 100,000 fans clicked the 'Like' button on Messi's comment to demonstrate their support and 10,000 left comments, the vast majority backing him.
Guardiola announced his resignation in the wake of Barcelona's Champions League semi-final defeat to Chelsea, citing exhaustion as the reason for his departure.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell appointed Francesc "Tito" Vilanova, a former Barcelona player and Guardiola's assistant for the past four years, as the new coach.