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16.05.2009 14:59

“We shouldn’t think we’re already champions”

Berta Brau

Barça’s manager Josep Guardiola says the team is going to compete tomorrow like it has all season as nothing has been won yet. “The team has to go out to win the point we need to become champions,” he said. “No-one’s going to give it to us.”

Josep Guardiola poured cold water on the idea that Barça already have the League title wrapped up. “We’re playing for it tomorrow,” he argued. “We need to get a point and no-one’s going to give it to us.” He thinks the team needs to maintain its competitive spirit, so they will have to “train, sleep and eat well to compete like we have done so far”.

League the priority

Guardiola says he isn’t going to rotate players with an eye to the CL final in Rome. “There is nothing more important than the League at the moment, and if and when we’ve won it we’ll think about the Champions League then,” he said. As a result he’s called up his best possible team because every Barça game is important. “Madrid are still the champions and we need to take the first of our three chances to knock them off their perch,” he argued

No parades planned

AMY16D03.020.jpg“What have we got to celebrate if we aren’t champions yet?” he said when asked about parades and celebrations. Although he doesn’t take these decisions, he did reveal he had argued against parades after winning the Cup because “we still haven’t won the League and we should respect our opponents and the competition. We’ll celebrate when we’re the champions”. He also said he preferred improvised celebrations which are “nicer”.

Always cautious

Guardiola says he doesn’t want to count his chickens before they are hatched. “Madrid can win their last three games, so we can’t afford to underestimate our rivals,” he argued. “We’re up against a team that hasn’t lost at home since January and has some great players and an experienced coach. That’s reason enough to focus on the game.”
“We shouldn’t think we’re already champions”

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Players at home
Given the importance of the match between Villarreal and Real Madrid, Guardiola was asked if the players were planning to meet up to see the game together. “No they won’t,” he replied. “They’ll be at home because we’ve got a game tomorrow and we have to win it.”

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