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Guardiola on FC Barcelona vs AC Milan: “to be champions again, we’ve got to beat the best”

The Barça manager reckons the real tests are only about to begin, in all of the Champions League, Spanish League and Cup. From now on, he warns, “there is no turning the page after any setbacks.” He also feels that it will be of benefit to everybody that the return leg of the Champions League quarter final against AC Milan will be at the Camp Nou. Besides, Guardiola said on Abidal that right now nothing is more important than “finding a solution to the illness he’s suffering so that he can carry on with his life”.

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16 March 2012 06:56 PM

by

Vanessa Forns

Barcelona (FCB).- The draw has been made for the quarter finals of the Champions League, the Copa del Rey final is not far off, and there are fewer weekends than ever left in the domestic championship. For FC Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola, \u201Cthis is the moment of truth\u2026  From now on there is no turning the page after any setbacks.\u201D FC Barcelona has to be on even better form than ever \u201Cand we have to demonstrate that again tomorrow\u201D he said, in direct reference to Saturday\u2019s Spanish League visit to the Sánchez Pizjuán for the Seville vs FC Barcelona.


Guardiola was speaking shortly after learning who their next European opponents will be. \u201CWe\u2019ve got Milan, one of the greatest teams in European history, and who have some fantastic players. It will be a very difficult tie, but really nice at the same time. Every time we have been champions, we have beaten them. We\u2019re the champions of Europe, and to be champions again, we\u2019ve got to beat the best.\u201D

Call for support

Guardiola, who previously made it clear that he\u2019d rather not play a team they have already faced this season, is calling on the Camp Nou\u2019s support. \u201CWe need everyone\u2019s help, especially for the return leg. They\u2019ll be terribly tough matches, because Milan is a strong team in every sense. People need to charge their batteries for the quarters, because we really need them to come and support us.\u201D

Affection for Abidal

The manager commented that everyone at FC Barcelona is obviously concerned about Abidal, who the club announced on Thursday is going to require a liver transplant. \u201CWe knew there was a chance that it might repeat. He knows he has us, and everybody else, because he is much-loved person. What really matters right now is to find a solution to this illness so he can continue with his life. That\u2019s life, and he has to fight against this. Now he\u2019s ill, and he has to be cured.\u201D

Guardiola went on to say that \u201Che has behaved impeccably. He has taught us so many things, but I imagine it\u2019s not easy for him on the inside. If he\u2019s loved so much it\u2019s because he has won that love. The Camp Nou\u2019s ovation in the semi finals of the Champions League was one of the most amazing things I\u2019ve ever seen. He\u2019s a very good person, and very much loved by the squad. If people love him so much it\u2019s because he has earned it, and I\u2019m sure that that will give him a lot of strength to get through this.\u201D Guardiola also said that he has always left it up to the player to decide whether he was up to playing or not. \u201CI am still surprised how he was able to show such willingness, so much respect for the club and his colleagues\u201D he commented. \u201CIf it was up to him, he\u2019d play tomorrow.\u201D

He added that the decision to renew Abidal\u2019s contract a few weeks ago \u201Cshows why this club is so different and so great. The board should be congratulated for such a gesture, for showing how well we can do things here.\u201D

 \u201CPiqué will go when he wants\u201D

Josep Guardiola feels that at Barça there are certain players \u201Cthat will leave when they want\u201D, which is the case in particular with Gerard Piqué. \u201CThere is no manager than can decide for him in that sense. He is one of those players that loves this club too much, and these players are too special. Nobody can decide for them.\u201D

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  • Pep Guardiola at this Friday's press conference (by FC Barcelona)

  • Pep Guardiola at this Friday's press conference (by FC Barcelona)