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Football-Assembly 2008

24.08.2008 20:51

Txiki: “We want to be winners again”

Roger Bogunyà

Txiki Begiristain has said that he wants to return to being a winning team. “We want to be winners again”, he explained.

FC Barcelona’s director of football Txiki Begiristain, spoke at Sunday’s General Assembly about how Guardiola’s nomination as new manager would restore the club as one that could win trophies.

Team above individuals

Txiki explained that the club must “rediscover the spirit and unity of the team and put it above individualism”. The team over individuals is how the director of football sees trophies returning to the Nou Camp.

Guardiola to restore commitment

290708_3.jpgTxiki Begiristain also referred to the reason he decided to relieve Frank Rijkaard of his position. “The image of the club had deteriorated. We had to restore involvement in, and commitment to, the club” and that’s why I thought of Josep Guardiola.

“He has a perfect understanding of the club, a methodology (which we saw with Barça B) and a respect for attractive football” which make him the best choice to manage the team. He added: “I don’t think anyone can doubt the decision to appoint Guardiola as manager of Barça”.

Out with the old …

The director of football also spoke about the change in team personnel this season. Of those sold, he agreed that “Ronaldinho needed a change” and he saw the deal to sell him to AC Milan as “good”. With Deco he said that “because of his age and fewer and fewer appearances” 10 million euro justified his transfer.

Giovani and Oleguer wanted to play more football and decided to seek that chance elsewhere and Zambrotta wanted to return home.

… and in with the new

alves_escut_x5x.JPGOf the new signings, Txiki said Alves was the most expensive but he explained: “Seville received better offers last year but the player didn’t want to negotiate with anyone else this summer because he knew his future lay with FC Barcelona”.

He said Caceres was “a young player for the present with an extraordinary future”, Keito was a perfect replacement for Deco because of his “ball winning skills and physical strength” and Hleb was “a very strong skilful player with an ability to play in various positions”. He singled out Pique for his defensive abilities and “eagerness to return home”.

Of Henrique, loaned out to Bayer Leverkusen, Txiki explained that the club had “a great opportunity to sign a young player with a huge future”.
Txiki: “We want to be winners again”
Praise for the youth squad

Txiki Begiristain also took the opportunity to praise the work done at youth level in the club. “The youth set up continues to work. Victor Sanchez and Pedro will start the season under Guardiola and the youth team continues to feed the first team with players”, he said.
On other matters, Txiki wanted to close the door on a couple of issues which took prominence over the summer. The first was Eto’o, who was “one of the players ho could have left, but his fantastic attitude shown in pre-season and his willingness to stay” convinced Guardiola and all the technical staff to change their opinion with regard to letting him leave.

The second matter concerned Messi and his involvement in the Champions League or the Olympic Games. On this point Begiristain said that “the club wanted to show that they had a point and that the laws were on their side”. He admitted that he understood that Messi was really excited about playing in China and for that reason they allowed him to play, although the rules supported Barça’s stance.

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