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21.05.2009 20:08

Guardiola: "We will be brave and they know it"

David Puig

Pep Guardiola appeared ambitious and excited as he looked ahead to the Champions League final against Manchester United and explained that while he is well aware of the English side's strengths, Barça will head to Rome to win without making excuses.

Showing the desire and passion that has been building at Camp Nou, the Blaugrana trainer spoke about the game in Rome for the first time during the press conference on Thursday as part of the Media Open Day that each club were told to hold by UEFA: "It is not good enough if we reach the final and have had a good season winning the double," Guardiola said. "I said the same thing before we played Real Madrid. It would not be good at all if we do not win. We want to win the Champions League. We will go out and play like we normally do and everyone knows that. If we do not go out to win then there will be nothing to play for."

A complete team

21-05-09_WEB_GUARDIOLA_04.jpgPraising Manchester United, Guardiola stated that he feels they are "the best team in the world and that is what concerns me. They have won a lot of finals and they have dominated the game for a long time. When they have to go forward they do it with everyone and when they have to defend they do not concede many. They are strong in the air thanks to players like Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferninand and Cristiano Ronaldo too. We will try to play our game and make them play at our rhythm, we want to keep possession and go forward and then we will see what happens."

Henry and Iniesta

Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta are working hard to be fit in time for the final, but Guardiola admits that he does not know whether or not they will make it. "We will do everything possible to ensure that they are ready," he said. "Despite the desire of the players, what counts is how their muscles are but I have faith. On MOnday or Tuesday we will know whether or not they have recovered."

21-05-09_INIESTA_02.jpgThe Blaugrana coach also regretted the absence of other players. "Alves will not be there and nor will Eric Abidal or Rafa Marqez," he continued. "They are important absentees, but we will go out with other players. I would like to have the choice of everyone, but I do not to make any excuses and I know that the players that play will do very well."

Messi, Christian Ronaldo and... Scholes

Guardiola was not keen to talk about the comparisons between Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but when he was told the Sir Alex Ferguson feels that his player is slightly better, the Barça coach sided with his star. "Cristiano Ronaldo is a very god player. Messi too. They are both good, but I think Messi is better."

As well as acknowledging Ronaldo, the Barcelona boss picked out other names to watch out for: "Paul Scholes is a marvellous player. They have good players in every position with five very strong forwards."
Guardiola: “We will be brave and they know it“

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Praise for Sir Alex Ferguson
Pep Guardiola has expressed his admiration for Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and joked about the Scotsman's incredible coaching career compared to his own. "I am sure that this will not be the first that Ferguson has faced a young coach and he will think he will be here longer than me. I admire his career and what he achieved with Manchester United. It is an honour to have my team play his in the Champions League final and to be up against such a great man."

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