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23.05.2009 23:55

Guardiola: “They won’t let you down on Wednesday”

Vanessa Forns / Aida Soriano

Following the celebration of the double at the Camp Nou, Guardiola preferred his players to be the protagonists. “They won’t let you down on Wednesday” he said to the enraptured fans.

As he has been doing in press rooms all season, the manager preferred to take a back seat in front of the 77,000 members and fans celebrating the league and cup double. But the fans ignored his plea and started chanting his name in the build-up to his speech.

Praise for players

Guardiola said that he felt he was “sitting with all of you”, and wished to honour the players and “congratulate them in the name of everybody here, In Catalonia, in Spain, and all around the world, that loves this club called Barça”. He also spoke about the Champions League game in Rome, saying “the most important thing that they have done is that on Wednesday they won’t let you down. They won’t let you down”.

Manager honoured

celebracion__M3_5067.JPGHe then asked the crowd “to stand up and give these players the ovation they deserve”. But the players returned the gesture by tossing Guardiola in the air like they had done in Valencia after winning the Copa del Rey. Before, Carles Puyol had spoken about his “satisfaction and pride for making so many people happy”.

Piqué the heart and soul

The FC Barcelona manager then started the other players’ interventions by passing the microphone to Gerard Piqué. Acting as a veritable master of ceremonies, the defender chanted “Campeones, campeones!” and got the crowd doing a wave.


celebracion__M3_5125.JPGNext up was Xavi Hernández, who joked about the “ziga zaga, ziga zaga” said Josep Guardiola once coined in the celebrations of the Cup Winners Cup in Rotterdam. He said “the team has made history … but the final is Rome is still pending”.

Fuentealbilla and Badia mentioned

celebracion__M3_5134.JPGAndrés Iniesta, one of the most acclaimed players of the night, didn’t forget his native Fuentealbilla, as he once again overcame his shyness in front of crowds. He was thrilled that the fans had enjoyed their football so much. Sergio Busquets, in thanking the supporters also mentioned his hometown, Badia del Vallès.

Henry and Eto'o grateful

celebracion__M3_5315.JPGThierry Henry thanked Pep Guardiola for “convincing me to stay here, it was a good decision”. Samuel Eto'o also thanked the manager and club. “At the start of the season I was out of here, but they gave me another chance and everything has gone well” said the Cameroonian. “On Wednesday, if I have to run 80 kilometres to win, I’ll do it” he added before embracing the coach.

Alves jokes

Dani Alves added some humour by speaking in Catalan. “Bona nit a tothom. La mare que els va parir a tots” (‘Good evening everybody. The mother that gave birth to all’, in emulation of a famous gag on local TV).

Varied sentiments

celebracion__M3_5365.JPGSylvinho mentioned his wife in his speech, and was then given the bumps. The youngest member of the squad, Bojan Krkic, thanked the fans for the support they have given him since he joined the first team. Rafa Márquez said how sorry he is to miss the game in Rome, but that he would, of course, be there supporting the team.

The title celebrations ending with pyrotechnics and music, enjoyed by all the players from the pitch.
Guardiola: “They won’t let you down on Wednesday”
Messi remembers Milito
Although he had spoken before, Messi returned to say some words about Milito, who has not played this season through injury. “Gabi Milito is not here with you tonight, he didn’t want to come out because he’s a fool” said the Argentinian as the crowd chanted the defender’s name. “It’s been a tough year for him, but he has always been at our sides to support us”.

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