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16.05.2010 23:38

Pep awards high marks

Jordi Clos

Pep Guardiola gave his FC Barcelona top marks after holding off the challenge of Real Madrid to retain the league title on Sunday evening with victory over Real Valladolid.

The Blaugrana coach was delighted to add another piece of silverware to his impressive collection. "Our marks are very high," he said. "We are missing the cherry on the cake, but having come from where we did was not easy. Losing just one match all season deserves praise. I am very grateful to the players. After winning three trophies last season, to four this time around is a success that I could only hope for."

Madrid congratulations

On Real Madrid's push for the top, Guardiola was full of praise. "Before anything else I want to congratulate the coach and players of Real Madrid because what they have done is admirable," he explained. "Without such an opponent we would not have reached 99 points. They were worthy opponents." On what was a vital moment of the season Guardiola added: "The draw in Cornellà gave us the title. It had the feeling that was the point that won. We knew then that we had to win all our games."

Press talk

Guardiola then revealed his feelings towards sections of the press that had doubted the team this term. "We felt that we were a bit under-estimated," he commented. "We have been hearing those things for some time. The loudest voices were very loud, but they should have had more respect for these players who have been dignified. It is part of the game and I know next year the same thing will happen. But we will carry on. After Real Madrid lost to Lyon people then said we were winning because of help from referees. That only boosted us further behind the scenes. Last year the same was said after we won 2-6 in the Bernabéu. When Madrid win I know it is because they were the better team."

Great players

Looking back on the last game of the season against Real Valladolid on Sunday Guardiola said: "We were very tense in the first ten minutes. They pressured us and showed us what they could do. We then calmed down and we were able to play well. We have great players and that is our strength. Now I cannot comment on what will happen next season. We can take a break and then in a few weeks we will start looking to next season."
Pep awards high marks
Fan praise
Pep Guardiola addressed the fans on the pitch after the game as he stated: "We owe one to the fans for the way you all reacted after we went out of the Champions League. I do not know if we will repay that next year or after that. We feel very grateful. We feel that you are always behind us."

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