Ex-Barça boss Terry Venables is looking forward to Saturday’s Wembley final and reckons that we could be in for: “a clash of titans”. Venables is a great admirer of the Barça style and of Pep Guardiola, who he describes as a “360º manager!”
Wembley 92 – an explosion of support
“Barça had been very close to winning the European Cup before, but they just missed out in
the end. It was very frustrating. I was in Seville when we lost on penalties. It was a very poor
game. Barça so wanted that title and when it came in 1992 when they beat Sampdoria. That was a
great moment - the moment when the Club felt ‘we’ve done it!’. From that moment
on, the mentality changed and the frustration disappeared. It created a great explosion of feeling
for the Club and since then the teams have not stopped getting better and better”.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat, Terry Venables declared:
“if anybody can stand up to this Barça team, it’s Manchester United”, and he
reckons there will be more than just the result at stake on Saturday: “neither team will be
satisfied with just winning – they will also want to show the potential and the strength they
have. Manchester United have got their form back, but if Barça dominate possession, United
won’t get a look in”.
”This will be a special final”
FC Barcelona and Manchester United both won their first European Cups at Wembley
and this is the first time for both of them that they are returning to the famous stadium for a
European final. Venables reckons: “the pride of re-conquering Wembley, the desire for revenge
at United for the defeat in Rome two years ago and an improved Barça will make this game a
fantastic explosion of footballing talent like we’ve never seen before”. Without
wishing to undervalue the importance of those Wembley wins, Venables believes: “this will be
an even more special final”.
Big Barça fan
It’s been 24 years since Terry Venables left the Barça manager’s job,
but he’s always kept a close eye on the Club and indeed declares himself a big fan;
“Barça play five star football. They don’t just score goals, they also have a very
strong defence. They are like a boxer who wins by giving his opponent a series of little jabs, then
when he’s groggy, hits them with the knockout blow. Barça don’t look for just one blow,
they work at it and undermine the other team’s patience. They know who they are and what to
do and that’s not something you find a lot in today’s football”.
Support for home grown talent
Venables also supports Barça’s position on home grown talent and sees
Guardiola as the cornerstone of that philosophy: “he’s gone back to his roots and
looked for players from the Club and shown trust and confidence in them. He only signs players when
he really needs to and that gives a lot of incentive to the youngsters to work hard and then he
gives them an opportunity. That’s the hardest way to success –the easiest is just to
spend lots of money”.
Guardiola – a great all round manager
Venables reckons: “Guardiola is a great all round manager –a 360º
manager! He represents the perfection of both sides of the coin –he’s both a teacher
and he gets results. When I see how his team performs and the way they stick to the Club’s
philosophy, I have to tell you I am especially proud and privileged to have been a part of the
history of the Club”.