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28.08.2009 23:59

Guardiola: “The hardest final”

Vanessa Forns

Josep Guardiola had no doubt that tonight’s final was the most difficult Barça have played since he became manager, and praised the team on their effort, personality and character.

Guardiola’s side won the fifth major trophy since he took over as manager tonight, and their second of a season that has barely commenced. “The players have made a huge effort” he said. “They showed strength, personality and character. In other finals we were more into the match rhythm and in the middle of competition, but tonight caught us on the back of our holidays, but we didn’t lose our essence. That has a lot of merit”.

Tough game

Guardiola described the game as “terribly tough”, mentioning especially “the heat and humidity” in the Louis II in Monaco. He also suggested that there were “no positive adjectives” to describe the condition of the pitch.


“The state of the pitch was an embarrassment” he said, and had harsh words for UEFA. “They talk about looking after the players, saying they should put on a show … and then they make us play on pitches like this. I think they need to look into this. They should have a think. If we had lost, I wouldn’t have said anything about it.”

Praise all round

fcb-xakhtar_x19x.jpgPedro, with his 115th minute goal, was the man of the night, but although Guardiola is to be commended for handing the youngster his chance, he said “I didn’t create anything. The players create it all themselves. In whatever case, I congratulate the people that discovered him and helped him grow. I am reaping the benefits”. On other players, he singled out one other. “Bojan did very well, but everybody made huge contributions”.

Asked about Messi, Guardiola was again full of praise. “Leo ended up carrying the team on his back. He is somebody different, special, unique, unrepeatable. He is the best player I have ever seen by some distance and Barça are lucky to have him. He is a fundamental part of the team”.

Equalling a legendary team

The Barça team of 1951-52 won five cups, and now Guardiola’s side has won five major trophies in a year. That parallel is something the coach defines as “an honour. Being able to actively participate with this group and win five titles in a row is great” he said. “I am really satisfied. I don’t know if the legend can get any bigger. All I know is that what we have to do now is get some rest. We have a tough year ahead, but such enthusiasm provides guarantees.”

Pedro makes the difference

On Mircea Lucescu’s complaints about the referee, Guardiola wished to point out that there was a possible penalty on Messi in the first half. “So, one each, and Pedro’s goal made the difference”.
Guardiola: “The hardest final”
“I take the responsibility for Chygrynskiy”
As the player himself confirmed in a pre-match press conference, Chygrynskiy will be wearing the Barça shirt this season. Pleased with the signing, Josep Guardiola thanked the club for making it all possible. “I want to thank the club for strengthening the side in this position. Barça have made a great signing. I know a lot of people aren’t so sure, but when he starts playing, they’ll see. I take the responsibility for this signing. I know he’ll do well.

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