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26.05.2009 20:01

Puyol: “We have a historic opportunity”

Anna Segura

Captain Puyol and goalkeeper Valdés were the Barça players selected for the pre-final press conference. Both are looking forward to the game and the chance to complete a historic treble.

At 7.15 pm the pressroom was packed with media from all around the world ready to listen to FC Barcelona players Carles Puyol and Víctor Valdés, and manager Josep Guardiola.

Same routine as Paris

26-05-09_WEB_BARCELONA_04.jpgOddly enough, it was the same two players that spoke to the media before the final in Paris three years ago. Whether this was superstition or chance we do not know, but both Puyol and Valdés agreed that if the result on Wednesday is the right one, then routine is a good thing. A routine that began when the team flew to Rome on the same plane they used to fly to Paris in 2006.

Second European final

For Carles Puyol and Víctor Valdés this is, therefore, the chance to relive a dream they have already experienced once before. The Barça captain said things felt much the same as they did back then, adding that “I am just as excited, just as keen, because I think it’s hard to get this far. We have to enjoy it”.

Good feeling

Puyol knows that on Wednesday his side has “a historic opportunity” of winning an unprecedented treble. He has “a good feeling” about it but also warned that “before us we have a great team that we have lot of respect for”.

Belief in the defence

The Barça backline is suffering without any of Márquez, Alves, Abidal, Víctor Sánchez or Milito, but Víctor Valdés has every faith in whatever defence Guardiola puts out against United and that whatever players he has before him, “I always treat the game in the same way”.

Dangers of United

26-05-09_WEB_BARCELONA_03.jpgBoth Valdés and Puyol will have to be careful with Cristiano Ronaldo, one of Manchester United’s biggest threats. But Puyol does not think it is all about the Portuguese striker. United, he said, “also have very good defensive players. They form a very solid block … in Paris it was a defender that stood out, Belletti … so we have to be careful about the whole team”.

Valdés mentioned Berbatov. “He is a forward to bear in mind. Especially the way he moves around the field. We’ll have to counter him as well as we can”.
Puyol: “We have a historic opportunity”

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Valdes and penalties
Asked if he has been making any special preparations for a potential penalty shootout, Víctor Valdés calmly and confidently said “I am prepared for anything.” As far he is concerned it is not how the final is won that matters. “What’s important is that Barça win” he said.

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