Pinto and Keita: cup regulars
Pinto has started every cup game this season, and Keita has started four. No other member of the squad has appeared in every game.
Pep Guardiola has always insisted that for a squad to work, all of the players should get their
chance to play and feel they are making a contribution to the collective effort. He knows that
Barça would get nowhere without them and that they are just as important as the more regular
starters when it comes to achieving objectives.
Another final is within touching distance, and two of the people that deserve the most thanks
for that are Pinto and Keita, who have featured in every game.
Pinto, first choice keeper
The Andalusian stopper knows that if Barça make it to the final on April
20, he will be playing in goal. Guardiola has already told him that, and Pinto has responded with
some fantastic performances. He has been there whenever the team has needed him and has shown that
it was not by chance that he won the Zamora trophy when playing for Celta. Against Bilbao, Betis
and Almeria, Pinto has been outstanding.
Keita, two goals
The Malian is another of Guardiola’s firm favourites, to the
extent that the coach recently stated that Keita exemplifies everything about Barça. He has started
4 of the 7 cup games to date, and although he is more of workhorse who lacks the flair of some of
his fellow midfielders, which has sometimes meant he has been sidelined, when he has been given
chances, he has always passed the test with flying colours. Keita has even scored two goals in this
year’s cup, which added to the misery unleashed upon Betis and Almeria.