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Guardiola on Levante vs FC Barcelona: “The only way we can extend our League challenge is by winning”

The Barça Manager isn’t resting any players with the Chelsea Champions League fixture in mind because “given our situation, the game with Levante is more important”. Guardiola believes they have to win at the Ciutat de València stadium because otherwise “we’ll have no chance of winning the League when we face Real Madrid”.


13 April 2012 08:40 PM


Anna Segura

Barcelona (FCB).- Barça Manager, Josep Guardiola, is treating Saturday\u2019s Spanish League clash with Levante (called \u2018Llevant\u2019 in Catalan) with the utmost importance. He knows that the next La Liga fixture, against leaders Real Madrid, will be much more difficult than people seem to think and therefore \u201CI\u2019ll playing what I think is the strongest team and that can adapt best to the opponent and the ground\u201D. Although he has a crucial Champions League semi final against Chelsea to worry about in addition to the \u2018clásico\u2019 against Real Madrid, he is not even contemplating the idea of resting any of his stars. \u201CWe know it\u2019s difficult but we want to extend our League challenge and to do that we have to play the best team we can \u2026 if the difference was ten points we could make one competition a priority, but given the situation we are in, the game with Levante is more important\u201D.

In La Liga, he believes it is essential for FC Barcelona to stay within at least four points of the leader, Real Madrid. \u201CIf we don\u2019t win the game against Levante, we\u2019ll have nothing to play for against Real Madrid\u201D he said. \u201CWe would lose the little chance we have \u2026 There is only one way to extend competitions, and that\u2019s by winning\u201D.

Puyol going strong at 34

FC Barcelona Manager also spoke about Barça captain Carles Puyol, who turned 34 this Friday. After congratulating his captain, Guardiola said \u201Che\u2019s the kind of player whose fitness will tell him when he has to stop. His desire has hardly changed at all since the day he started. If injuries are kind to him, his career can carry on for some time\u201D.

He was also pleased to welcome Dutch player Afellay back from a long-term injury. \u201CIt\u2019s one more man for the cause. Now he\u2019s got to work hard to get back in the team\u201D.

Abidal\u2019s liver transplant \u201Chas gone to plan\u201D

And finally, words for Abidal, who is recovering from his liver transplant. \u201CThe information we have received says that everything has gone to plan, that there have been no nasty shocks. That\u2019s the best news\u201D.

Pre-season in Europe

Guardiola also spoke about the decision to stay in Europe next summer. \u201CFor many years the team has been adapting to the Club\u2019s needs because they look for ways of benefiting it as an institution\u201D he said.


  • Barça Manager, Pep Guardiola, at the press conference before the Levante vs Barça Spanish League game (by FC Barcelona)

  • Barça Manager, Pep Guardiola, at the press conference before the Levante vs Barça Spanish League game (by FC Barcelona)