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15.09.2009 19:47

Guardiola: “It’ll be a tough test”

Vanessa Forns

Josep Guardiola has no doubt whatsoever that Barça’s first match in this season’s CL against Inter Milan will be a “tough test” for his team.

Barça begin the defence of their CL title this Wednesday in the Giuseppe Meazza and Josep Guardiola is aware that his team will have to play well if they want to win: “It’ll be a tough test, a very difficult match. Inter have a lot of strength. They’re strong in all aspects. We’ll have to play a complete match”.

Attacking football

2009-09-15_ENTRENO_WEB_27.JPGGuardiola, who pointed out that Barça did not have to face any Italian teams last season, confirmed that his players would stick to their trademark style. “We’ll try and do the same as always – get the ball and attack. We have to try and give people a good match in a marvellous stadium. We respect this style of football and we’re coming here to win and do what we know”.

“A great challenge”

Josep Guardiola emphasised that it was “a great challenge” for the players to take part in matches like the one on Wednesday in the Giuseppe Meazza: “It’s fantastic for us to be able play matches like these that guarantee a great spectacle”.

“We’re in the toughest group”

However, Josep Guardiola denied that FC Barcelona and Inter Milan are playing for first place in the group: “Absolutely not. We’re in the toughest group, with four champions of their respective leagues. It’s a group where there could be a lot of upsets”.


2009-09-15_ENTRENO_WEB_06.JPGAs for the rivalry with Inter manager José Mourinho, Guardiola told reporters. “For me it’s a pleasure, an honour, to be able to play a match against a team with a manager of the Mourinho’s prestige, who has won a lot in three different countries. I had the luck to coincide with him for a year. He’s an extraordinary person”.

Available players

Finally, Guardiola expressed his wish that his players avoid injury during the season: “This year I lost a number of players right from the beginning. We haven’t been able to count on Rafa so far, Andrés has a bit left, Zlatan is beginning to get into his stride…What I want above all else is to have them all available”.
Guardiola: “It’ll be a tough test”

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Samuel Eto'o
On Wednesday, Josep Guardiola and his players will meet up again with former Barça striker Samuel Eto'o. “I hope to say hello and thank him for everything he gave us over the last five years”.

However, Guardiola knows that it won’t be easy to stop his former striker: “It’s not easy to stop Eto'o. It’s true that I know him but it’s always difficult to control players like him, with his quality. He’s a great player with a champion’s mentality”.

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