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03.08.2009 21:59

Guardiola stresses Messi needs limelight

David Saura (enviat especial) / Anna Segura

Pep Guardila reckons that the arrival of Ibrahimovic, far from taking the pressure of the team’s other big star Leo Messi, will help keep him on his toes, and that’s what he needs. “if Leo isn’t under pressure, he gets bored”.

2009-08-03_MESSI_MEDICINAL_06.jpgIt’s not easy being the main man in a team like Barca and the arrival of Ibrahimovic is bound to take some of the spotlight of Leo Messi, but Guardiola knows his players inside out and is well aware that what the young Argentinean needs is just the opposite: “if Leo isn’t under pressure, he gets bored”.

Ibrahimovic’s first training session

2009-08-03_GUARDIOLAx_IBRAHIMOVIC_04.jpgGuardiola was speaking after the team’s first training session on Seattle and Ibrahimovic , who trained for the first time with the squad, was the centre of the media’s interest. Guardiola ruled out any chance that the Swede would play in any of the remaining Tour games and joked about his effectiveness in training in the shooting practice where he scored 9 times out of 10 attempts: “well, I’d spoken to the keepers about that – we’ve got to give him confidence to help him integrate into the group!”

Guardiola took the opportunity for a quick chat with Ibrahimovic after the session and explained: “it’s not just about him getting to know us, we also need to find out what he likes, does he want the ball to feet, into space…... We’ve seen he’s a quiet lad and he’ll fit in well”.

New signings “need time to fit in”

A06.jpgGuardiola was also asked about Henrique and was quick to defend him, explaining: “being a centre half in a team like Barca has its own peculiarities”, and insisting that the new players need support not criticism: “give them time to fit in”.

Older players great role models

2009-08-03_PUYOL_01.jpgGuardiola himself came up through the club’s youth system and is well aware of the importance of role models for the young players who have been so successful so far this pre-season: “Xavi and Puyol are great examples for the youngsters” The contact with the senior players is a real plus for the up and coming youngsters: “for them, a Tour like this is worth a whole season of training with the youth team”.
Guardiola stresses Messi needs limelight

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Iniesta still needs time
Guardiola also spoke about his two injured players, Iniesta and Toure. The African midfielder: “should be okay after a day’s rest”, whilst Iniesta: “is still getting his strength back to avoid picking up the same injury. He should be available in a fortnight or so”. For the moment, Iniesta is working on building up his weight after the virus he suffered earlier in the summer.

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