Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola says he is ready to return to coaching following his seven-month sabbatical from the game.
The 41-year-old, who guided Barca to 14 trophies in four seasons at the Nou Camp, is looking for a new job but says he has no specific destination in mind.
"I have taken a decision to return to coaching but beyond that no decision has been taken," he said.
"I don't have a team to go to but I would like to go back to coaching."
Guardiola has been linked to numerous jobs since stepping down from his role at Barcelona, with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson naming the former Spain midfielder as one of his potential successors at Old Trafford, while Chelsea have also been linked with him.
The former Fifa world coach of the year,who has also been linked with German club Bayern Munich, said it would be a "lack of respect" to talk about any team which currently has a coach and denied he was in contention to lead hosts Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.
Ex-Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was appointed for a second spell in charge last month, and Guardiola said: "I think it has to be someone from their own country. Scolari is one of many world-class coaches from Brazil."
Guardiola has been living in New York since leaving Spain but says he still follows the progress of Barcelona closely.
"I keep on watching Barcelona on TV and it's a great show, a great team and I'm just a fan," he added at a news conference at the Fifa Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich, where his former player Lionel Messi won a record fourth world player of the year title.
Lionel Messi's status as the planet's finest footballer was further cemented as he won Fifa's Ballon d'Or for an unprecedented fourth successive time.
It is to the eternal misfortune of his closest competitor, Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, that he plays in the time of the great Argentine otherwise he would surely have claimed the coveted crown more than once.
Ronaldo and Messi's Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta - a Euro 2012 winner with Spain - were the other contenders and would be fitting and worthy winners in any era. This, however, is not any era - it is the Lionel Messi era.
Messi's brilliance is backed up by a blizzard of compelling statistics, not least his recent feat of breaking German striker Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record by ending the calendar year with 91 goals for club and country.
The manner in which Messi has individually dominated the game's recent years is only emphasised by the fact that he has effectively made its highest individual honour his personal property.
And at the relatively tender age of 25, and with a recently agreed deal to keep him at the Nou Camp until 2018, he has power and talent to add to his unique collection of Ballon d'Or honours.
The latest coronation will also give fresh impetus to a debate that now rages with more intensity around Messi. Namely - is he the greatest to have played the game?
He can justifiably take his place alongside other legends such as France's Michel Platini, who won three times in succession from 1983. Johann Cruyff won three times between 1971 and 1974 but his sequence was interrupted when Franz Beckenbauer won in 1972.
Brazil's Pele and Messi's fellow countryman Diego Maradona are inevitably the other names always factored into the equationwhen working out who is the greatest - but this is a question that is almost impossible to answer definitively.
The argument is shaped by, and in, different generations. The game and players change, which makes the debate even more of an inexact science.
And of course, who is to say Pele or Maradona would not have emulated Messi's feat had they been eligible to win the Ballon d'Or? The award was created by France Football magazine in 1956 to honour the finest European player of the previous calendar year - non-Europeans were only eligible from 1997, a time way beyond that of Pele and Maradona.
Those who support the cases of Pele and Maradona instantly evoke their impact on the highest stage of all, the World Cup, a place where Messi has yet to deliver the brilliance he does on a weekly basis for Barcelona.
Pele's name burst into football's psyche as a 17-year-old when Brazil won the World Cup in Sweden in 1958. Injury curtailed his involvement when Brazil won again four years later and he was effectively kicked out of the tournament as an ageing team faded in England in 1966.
And yet it was a sign of his enduring brilliance that he won another World Cup with Brazil in Mexico in 1970 as the outstanding figure in a team still widely regarded as the greatest there has ever been. He headed a goal in Brazil's 4-1 win against Italy in the final in Mexico City, the crowning glory of his career.
Many may prefer to recall Maradona's infamous "Hand of God" that helped to beat England in the quarter-final, once more in Mexico, but this must never overshadow how he bestrode that tournament and dragged the Argentina team in his slipstream to victory.
He suffered mixed fortunes around that triumph as he was sent off against Brazil in 1982 and sent home for failing a drugs test in the United States in 1994. These are events which have scarred his reputation but nothing can be stripped away from just how glorious, exciting and untamed his talent was.
There is still time for Messi to make one of those showpieces his own but his backers can press his claims by listing his consistent achievements in the Champions League, regarded by many as an even more challenging environment than the World Cup.
Manchester United have felt the pain as Messi scored as Barcelona beat Sir Alex Ferguson's side in two finals. The range of his game was exemplified by a towering header in the 2-0 win in Rome in 2009 then a flashing shot beyond Edwin van der Sar at Wembley two years later.
What is beyond dispute is that these are three names who have stamped their mark indelibly on football.
And for now, in this age, Messi's fourth Ballon d'Or is proof that he reigns supreme.
Regarded as the most prestigious individual award in world football, the Fifa Ballon d'Or was created by France Football magazine in 1956 to honour the best European player of the previous calendar year.
In 2010, it was merged with Fifa's World Player of the Year and the award - voted for by journalists, and national coaches and captains - now recognises the best players in world football.
BBC Sport profiles Andres Iniesta, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - the three contenders for the main prize to be awarded in Zurich on Monday.
Primera Liga & Champions League in 2012
|Shot conv. rate||35.1%||18.4%||12.5%|
|Passes per game||63.6||36.2||68.4|
Andres Iniesta - Barcelona and Spain
The 28-year-old midfielder, who came through Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, is one of a select group of players to have won the World Cup, European Championship and Champions League.
However, he has yet to win this award, coming closest in 2010 when he finished runner-up to club-mate Lionel Messi.
So, how has he earned another place in the top three? Apart from producing moments of brilliance for Barca, he played the leading role as Spain won Euro 2012 to clinch back-to-back European Championship titles.
Iniesta won three man-of-the-match awards during last summer's competition in Poland and Ukraine, and was named Uefa's player of the tournament.
He played fewer games than Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo at domestic club level, but nonetheless managed to achieve impressive feats.
Iniesta was a key member of the Barcelona team that set a club record for successive home games without defeat - 55. The record came to an end in April 2012 when Barcelona succumbed to eventual champions Real Madrid.
He was also named the best player of the 2011-12 Champions League tournament, which saw his team knocked out at the semi-final stage by Chelsea.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque: "It's like when Roger Federer plays tennis, he barely sweats. Iniesta appears as if he makes no effort to play."
Spain-based journalist Andy West: "Iniesta is revered throughout Spain - not just by Barcelona fans - for the goal that won the World Cup final in 2010, and he cemented that status last summer with another brilliant series of performances in the Euros.
"He's a stupendous dribbler, a wizard with the ball at his feet - especially when he's wriggling through seemingly non-existent gaps between defenders on the left wing. He was at his magical best in Barca's 4-0 win at Levante in November - he scored one and created the other three."
Lionel Messi - Barcelona and Argentina
Is the 25-year-old the greatest player the world has seen?
Messi has already won the Ballon d'Or three times - 2009, 2010 and 2011 - and is odds-on favourite to become the first player to win the title a record fourth time.
The Argentine forward is arguably the best dribbler seen in football since compatriot Diego Maradona was at his peak in the 1980s.
But along with Messi's ability to evade and create comes his brilliant scoring record. And in 2012, the football world looked on in disbelief as he broke record after record.
In March, Messi became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match as Barcelona defeated Bayer Leverkusen 7-1. A hat-trick against Granada, later that month, then saw him claim the club's all-time scoring record.
He scored 14 goals in the 2011-12 Champions League, breaking the record of 12 that he had previously shared with former Manchester United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
In May, Messi broke former Bayern Munich striker Gerd Mueller's mark of 67 goals in a single European season, eventually finishing the 2011-12 campaign with 73.
And in December, the diminutive Argentina captain grabbed his 86th goal of 2012 to surpass Mueller's 40-year-old record of having scored the most goals - in domestic and international games combined - in a calendar year. Messi finished 2012 with 91 goals.
Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola: "We will not see another player like Messi."
Spain-based journalist Andy West: "Messi's statistics speak for themselves, but there's far more to his game than goal scoring. He's tremendously selfless - a real team player - and won't shoot if he can see a team-mate in a better position.
"Another of Messi's great qualities is his humility. When he scored the goal that took him past Gerd Mueller's calendar-year record at Betis in December, his spontaneous reaction was to run to Iniesta and thank him for the pass that created the chance. That speaks volumes about his mentality."
Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid and Portugal
The showman came of age in 2012.
Nearly everything Cristiano Ronaldo touched turned to gold in an unforgettable year for the 27-year-old Portuguese.
Last season, he helped Real Madrid to their first league title since 2008 with goal scoring feats that only his Ballon d'Or rival Messi could match.
Ronaldo scored 46 goals in total for Los Blancos - becoming the only player in La Liga history to score 40 goals or more in a season twice.
The 2008 Ballon d'Or winner finished the 2011-12 campaign with 60 goals in all competitions, including at least one against each of Real's 19 domestic league opponents - the first time that feat had been achieved.
At Euro 2012, he scored three goals and produced some show-stopping performances to help Portugal reach the semi-finals, where they were knocked out by Spain on penalties.
And in October, Ronaldo became the first person to score in six consecutive El Clasicos, as Real drew 2-2 with Barcelona.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho: "If Messi is the best on the planet, Ronaldo is the best in the universe."
Spain-based journalist Andy West:"Ronaldo was the driving force behind Real Madrid's 2011-12 title campaign - his phenomenal blend of power, pace and precision was often virtually unplayable. His crowning glory came at the Nou Camp in April, when he scored the match-winner that effectively sealed the title.
"I'd say Ronaldo is a more mature performer than during his time in England - he's less petulant, less prone to diving and has developed greater consistency. He's now happy to accept added responsibility and is a real leader for both club and country, evidenced by the fact that he captained Real for the first time on Sunday."
Source: BBC Sport
Manchester City fear Sergio Aguero could miss their vital game against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on 13 January because of a hamstring injury.
The £38m striker limped off soon after scoring from the penalty spot in City's 3-0 win over Stoke on New Year's Day .
The Argentine will miss Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie against Watford.
"It's difficult to assess an injury like that but my experience says he is doubtful for Arsenal," said assistant manager David Platt.
"There will be a lot of swelling in there and a bit of bleeding and we will not know for 48 hours how long he will be out for."
The game with the Gunners is City's next in the Premier League and comes on the same day leaders Manchester United - who hold a seven-point lead over them at the top - face Liverpool in another crunch match at Old Trafford.
City boss Roberto Mancini tried to play down the injury, adding: "I don't think it is serious. His hamstring is sore, maybe in 10 days he can recover."
Aguero is City's joint-top scorer this season with 10 goals, along with Edin Dzeko who also found the net against the Potters.
The pair of them have scored five of City's seven goals in their last two games, after also helping see off Norwich 4-3 on Saturday.
Any long-term absence for the 24-year-old Argentine would be another blow for Mancini, who will definitely be without key midfielder Yaya Toure for the rest of January.
Yaya Toure played the 90 minutes against Stoke but along with his brother, defender Kolo, will now join up with the Ivory Coast squad for the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations and could be in South Africa for as long as six weeks.
"It is irrelevant whether Yaya disappears or not," added Platt. "The challenge is to keep winning football matches.
"We have a squad of players that we have to choose 11 from. Whichever 11 we put on the park, we would expect to go out and take the points."
Some good news for City is the return to fitness of striker Mario Balotelli, who did not play over the festive period because of a virus.
"Mario has been back on the training pitch for the last two or three days," Platt explained.
"It looks like he has shifted the illness now. The problem he had was that he was ill, came back and trained but then had a relapse and went down ill again.
"It looks like he is past that now and we have another three days before the Watford game at the weekend so there is every chance he will make that one."
Source: BBC Sports
Lionel Messi has agreed a new contract with Barcelona, keeping him at the Spanish club until 2018.
The Argentina international, 25, has enjoyed a record-breaking year for club and country, scoring 90 goals in 2012.
Defender Carles Puyol, 34, and midfielder Xavi Hernandez, 32, have also agreed new deals that will keep them at Barcelona until 2016.
"In the coming weeks Puyol, Xavi and Messi will sign their respective new contracts," the club confirmed.
"This news means that FC Barcelona has secured its ties with three of its most important players."
Messi's current deal expires in June 2016, with Puyol's running until 2013 and Xavi until 2014.
Messi, who has been with Barcelona since he was 13, made his league debut against RCD Espanyol on 16 October 2004.
He has been in the best goal-scoring form of his career in 2012 and surpassed Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record of 85 goalsscored in a calendar year with a brace in a 2-1 win over Real Betis on 9 December.
Messi took his tally for the year to 90 on Sunday with another two goals as Barcelona defeated Atletico Madrid 4-1.
He is in contention to be named World Player of the Year for a fourth time, having beennamed on a three-man shortlist alongside Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta.