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16.08.2008 23:59

Guardiola highlights the performance of his players

Vanessa Forns

Pep Guardiola singled out the fighting spirit his players showed during the full ninety plus minutes, despite being behind from the 72nd minute. It was a fight which led to the team snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Barça have won their 33rd Joan Gamper trophy tonight in a game made anything but easy by Boca Juniors. It wasn’t until added time when the team managed to turn things round, thanks to goals from Puyol and Eto'o. According to the Barça manager, for whom “in sport winning is everything”, the fact that “we never dropped our heads” is the first step to “building something”.

“The players believe in themselves”

Pep Guardiola, who reminded us that “we were playing against Boca, one of the biggest clubs in the world”, said he felt especially happy with the fact that his squad “continued to put in the effort” despite the difficult situations they may find themselves in during a game. “This effort is a good sign”, he said. “Sometimes we will lose, but, nevertheless, if we continue fighting to the final whistle then we will be a good team. I’m very happy with the performance of the team. The players are very good, they believe in themselves and we have to maintain this”, he added.

Little passing and movement in the first half

Pep Guardiola recognised that the first half was “a bit up and down”. The Barça manager thought that the team were too cautious and that, at the same time, there was very little passing and movement.” After the restart, however, the team’s play improved”, he added.

Eto'o’s performance

When asked if the performance of Samuel Eto'o in front of goal has convinced him that the decision he made to keep the Cameroon international was the correct one, Guardiola was very clear: “I was convinced that staying was the right decision and so was he. His team mates are delighted with him”
Guardiola highlights the performance of his players
Laporta: “The public enjoyed themselves”
Joan Laporta was very happy after the first team won the 43rd edition of the Joan Gamper trophy in an emotional game that was decided in added time. The Barça president thanked the more than 71,000 fans who didn’t want to miss this great festival of everything that Barcelona is all about. “The attendance tonight was fantastic. We witnessed a great firework display and a good game of football. The people enjoyed themselves. You couldn’t ask for more.” Laporta added that “it’s a joyous moment when a trophy which symbolises so much, like the Joan Gamper trophy, remains at home.

Finally, the FC Barcelona referred to the words Guardiola spoke in what was his official presentation to the fans as first team manager. “Pep said that he would guarantee a fighting spirit, and the team showed that right to the end. We ended up winning a game that was proving to be very difficult.”

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