Pep Guardiola has nothing but praise for Porto, Barça’s opponent in the European Supercup, and doesn’t want the shortage of defenders or the poor state of the pitch to serve as excuses.
“It is an excellent final between two teams that deserve it” said Guardiola in his
pre-match press conference. “We won the right to be here by winning the Champions League, and
that’s what counts. We have had just enough time to prepare. At first we were worried about
getting ready for the Spanish Supercup and having this game so soon after”.
Guardiola didn’t want to rue on the absence of his centre backs Puyol and Piqué, nor
the state of the pitch in the Louis II. “We are lucky to be here and we have to think of the
difficulties as a challenge. We always get through and we have to make sure this time is no
Porto, a very strong team
Barça manager has also had a good look at Friday’s opponent. “They are a team that
comes at you with intensity, they play well up front and all know how to play good football. There
is a lot of sense to what they do. We’d love to do the things they do … They change
players and managers and keep on winning. Last year they won the league without losing a match.
It’s a very strong team, in all senses, they are well put together. We’ll have to
perform very well to beat them”.
Enjoyment and suffering
As for his own team’s approach, he said “we always go out one hundred per cent.
When you play in finals you wonder if you’ll ever get the chance again. In part we have to
enjoy it and in part we have to suffer.” As for fitness, he said “we are better than we
were ten days ago but poorer than we will be ten days from now. You can’t expect to be at
your peak at this stage because there’s a lot of competition ahead. If we were able to
overcome such a tough test as Madrid then we have to go into tomorrow’s match believing we
can win it”.
Surprised about Montoya
It was announced today that Martín Montoya has been picked to play for Spain. Said the FCB
manager, “I was surprised. For a B team player to be picked for the national team is a very
nice surprise. I know they’ll treat him well and he won’t feel alone”.