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17.03.2010 23:59

Guardiola praises teamwork

Vanessa Forns

Pep Guardiola put his team’s performance against Stuttgart down to “teamwork – that’s what we are about and we got that back tonight”.

The boss was thrilled with the way his team played at the Nou Camp in brushing aside Stuttgart 4-0 and he put it down to the fact that: “we recovered the essence of our game. We are all about playing for each other, everybody does everything and that’s something we have to keep going for what’s left of the season”.

Champions through to last eight

Josep Guardiola reminded reporters that only Manchester United had managed to reach the last eight in the season after winning the title: “that shows how hard it is to do what we have done. It’s very good news that we are back in Europe’s top eight and I’m thrilled at being able to see another Champions game at the Stadium. We are very excited. We were really aggressive tonight and just didn’t give them time to think. Our transition from defence to attack was good and we moved the ball around well”

“A tough draw”

Guardiola was cautious about the other teams left in the competition, despite the disappearance of big names such as Chelsea, Real Madrid or Seville: “they are all good teams, it’ll be a tough draw and we will have to play really well to make it through to the semis”.

“Messi is the best”

Naturally enough, Guardiola also had words for Leo Messi, who got two more goals in the match: “we need him to take part in the game a lot. He’s been playing in a more central role lately and not so much out wide. He’s simply the best, that’s all. I wouldn’t change him for anybody”.

Ibra and Henry

Guardiola also explained the importance of getting the best out of both Ibrahimovic and Henry if the team are to take titles this season: “we can’t do anything without the best of Henry and the best from Ibra”. He went on, “I left Ibra on the bench to try and repeat the good feeling I had in the second half against Valencia. My aim is to get the very best out of him”

Guardiola also commented on Henry’s progress over the last few games: “I still want more, but I’m very happy with him. I want to see that aggression in front of goal”.

The fans’ role

Finally, Guardiola called on the fans to keep turning out to support the team: “there were nearly ninety thousand people here tonight and that gives us a lot of strength. We are better when we have the fans behind us. Nobody else is going to help us, so please don’t leave us on our own”.
Guardiola praises teamwork

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Laporta: “the team, the club and the way we play mean we deserve this”
Joan Laporta was also very satisfied with the win, claiming: “the team, the club and the football we play mean we deserve this. Now we have to continue trying to make our dreams come true”.

Lionel Messi was again decisive and Sr Laporta stressed: “the first player who wants there to be a good team spirit is Leo. He plays for the team as a whole and has the talent to change the game at key moments. Tonight though, all the team played at a very high level”.

The President was cautious as to the team’s future in the competition, stressing the need to: “keep on working – we shouldn’t be thinking about the final. The draw for the next round is on Friday and what we have to do is to keep on working hard so that we can give the fans another dream night. All the teams in the draw are going to be difficult and all of them can make it tough for us – they will be really thrilling quarter finals, I’m sure”.

Finally, Joan Laporta thanked the 88.543 fans who came out to support the team tonight: “the Barca fans have responded to a team who are giving us the best moments in our history. As an ex-player, Pep knows how important the fans are. We are in the last eight thanks to the players, the coaches and the fans”.

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