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02.01.2009 21:59

Guardiola: “We are not unbeatable”

Jesús Carrillo

Josep Guardiola has held his first press conference of 2009, in which he analysed some of the issues currently affecting the club and looked ahead to the new year and especially the game against Mallorca.

Josep Guardiola is staying as cautious with his words as he has been since the start of the season. “We haven’t won anything yet and it is still January. I don’t know of any team that has won titles at this stage of the season. We have to take things step by step and not start thinking we are the best. We aren’t and we won’t be if we think that. Against Mallorca, if we don’t get things right, we’ll lose”.

First outing can be dangerous

QM3D3096.jpgAfter the Christmas break, Mallorca might look like easy pickings for Barça. That’s what everybody is saying, apart from Guardiola and not his players.

“Although I have a good feeling, and I think we’ll be ready to be competitive on Saturday despite the Christmas break, I don’t think anybody thinks it will be easy. I always see the virtues of our rivals and Mallorca have many excellent footballing virtues” he said.

No talk of trebles

messientreno260808.jpgAsked whether Barça can win the Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, the Barça manager didn’t want to get carried away with himself and preferred to leave such speculation for later. “Talking about the treble right now is just saying things. It would be bad for us. I can understand that you (the press) might make such evaluations, that’s only normal. But, like I say, it is in April when we will really know where we stand”.

Villarreal and the final run

vilareal-fcb_x2x.jpgAsked about the last game with Villarreal, Guardiola said that with one man less, they went all out onto the attack against Pellegrini’s side. “I spoke to the players after and we did indeed play happy football towards the end. Against eleven and with just five minutes left, perhaps we should have defended more, but I don’t like avoiding happy football and making the most of the confident mood of my players at the moment” he said.
Guardiola: “We are not unbeatable”

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Speaking of Messi
As for Leo Messi’s late return to training on Friday, the manager said “Messi was in Madrid airport at midday and because of the strike going on, Messi, like thousands of people, was delayed. There is no problem with that. He is back happy, relaxed, and ready to play. So that’s what happened and there is nothing else to say.”

Guardiola also said that the squad had agreed “to give more holidays to the players that were going to South America and Africa. It was all agreed and there were no problems with that”.

In reference to reports that Messi did not train after the FC Barcelona v Valencia game, the manager said “we decided after the game to bring the session forward by an hour, but Messi didn’t hear about it and that’s why he came late. We phoned him and he came to train but we spoke to Lorenzo Buenaventura and decided it would be better for him to train in the gym. That’s all there is to it, he arrived late, but he trained”.

And finally on the possibility of him playing for Argentina in France in February, Guardiola said “I spoke to him and he’d really like to play in that match, Between us and the AFA we have to protect him. It is no big problem for me if he plays in France, the problem is with the long journeys to Argentina, they are too many hours. But I don’t see any problem with playing in France. We’ll decide when the time comes”.

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