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12.05.2009 14:35

“It’s been a while since we won the Cup too”

Jaume Marcet

Josep Guardiola accepts that the Cup Final is very special for Bilbao, but insists that his Barca team are also motivated to win the competition they last conquered 11 years ago.

Guardiola stressed the importance of the game in Valencia and whilst he accepted that Bilbao had been able to concentrate wholly on the game for the last few weeks he reminded reporters. “if it’s important to them because they haven’t won it for 25 years, then it is to us too – we’ve not been in a Cup Final and won it for 11”.

Both teams up for the game

12-05-09_WEB_GUARDIOLA_Y_VILANOVA_01.jpgAlthough Guardiola admitted he would have preferred to have wrapped up the league title at the weekend, he explained: “we’ve been very excited over the last few hectic weeks and a win on Sunday would have released some of that, but now we’re playing in a big Cup Final and we have to try and be at the level we need to be”.

The boss denied that it was Bilbao who were giving the game most importance: “we want to win it as much as they do and we’ll be trying as much as them,” adding with a wry smile, “even if we are travelling down on the day of the game”.

“If we’d not been playing so many games of late I’m sure we would have travelled down earlier, but we are playing late (22.00) and so I prefer to do as we’ve done throughout the league season and let the players sleep at home the night before”.

”An even final”

12-05-09_WEB_GUARDIOLA_03.jpgGuardiola is expecting, “a very even final, I’m sure it will be an intense game. We have to avoid giving away free kicks near our box, which Llorente will try and provoke and also to avoid a physical contest”. Guardiola’s not worried about his players’ protection though, claiming: “ “Medina Cantalejo (the match ref) is a good referee and he’ll do his job”.
“It’s been a while since we won the Cup too”

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Team news – not yet
Guardiola won’t make his team public till tomorrow, but he told reporters: “all the squad deserve to play. I know what team I’ll put out, but I’m not going to let it out till match day. If we win, the same as if we win the league, it’ll be a squad effort. You know, I think even I deserve to get on and play for a while!”, he joked.

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