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18.01.2008 10:55

Unzué endorses choice of Pinto

Berta Brau

Experience, calmness, leadership and above all enthusiasm. These, according to Juan Carlos Unzué, are the attributes of Barça’s new goalkeeper, Manuel Pinto, in addition to his outstanding ability between the sticks.

Manuel Pinto, the former Celta de Vigo goalkeeper, has been chosen by the technical staff at FC Barcelona to stand in for the injured Albert Joquera. Juan Carlos Unzué, the first team goalkeeping coach, talked to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat about what the Andalusian custodian who learnt his football in Galicia can bring to the team.

The reasons for the choice

“We settled on Manuel Pinto because he was the best option available. There were some things which were really important for us: we were looking for a good goalkeeper who would be happy with his role at the club and was excited about coming to Barcelona. Manual offers us experience and allows us to fill the hole left by Albert’s injury over the next few months.”

What Pinto provides

“I think he can provide calmness and security, plus he’s had lots of experience both in our domestic League and in the Champions League with Celta. That’s why I reckon he’ll be able to deal with the responsibility and pressure that’s part and parcel of being a Barcelona goalkeeper and in all the competitions we’ll be playing in.”

“As the goalkeeping coach, I’m really happy with our choice and I can guarantee that the fans will be as well, because we’ve got a new player and a new member of the dressing room who’ll give us that security and experience which we need in this position.”

Physical and technical characteristics

“Manuel has good physical abilities: he has quick reactions and is very powerful, especially between the sticks. And that means he’s a pretty spectacular player as well.”

A man who gets involved

“He’s a very effective goalie, plus he knows how to get involved with the team and be in charge of the box. And that’s something that as a goalkeeping coach I’m always on the look out for.”

Always ready

“As the coach and head of goalkeeping, I think it’s important that he is a person who can accept what his role is going to be and wait for his chance and not throw in the towel. He needs to know that Víctor Valdés is our first choice and will remain so, but also that he’s got to put the pressure on, put in the work every day to win our confidence and above all to be ready for the day when we need him.”
Unzué endorses choice of Pinto

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A decisive chat
“The chat I had with him played a big part in our decision, as it showed me that he is excited about the chance we are giving him. The references I was given about him, about the way he trains and what he does, were also very important.”

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