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Guardiola predicts a great game in Valencia

Barça’s manager, Pep Guardiola is convinced that the Spanish League game against Valencia will be “a great match”, but warned of the problems Emery’s team could pose, especially given the great moment of form they are enjoying. Guardiola also talked about Qatar, the Qatar Foundation and the board’s decision to make the club’s general assembly to validate the agreement reached.


21 September 2011 04:31 PM


Jesús Carrillo

Barcelona (FCB).- FC Barcelona\u2019s manager, Pep Guardiola, praised the Valencia team and made it clear that it would not be an easy task to take the three points from Mestalla stadium on Wednesday evening (22h CET): \u201Cthey are the league leaders right now and they are looking really strong. We are going to a tough ground and their fans will be right behind them. They also have a great coach who has shown he is capable of taking a team that has lost players like Villa, Silva and Mata and making them into a very competitive outfit, as they are showing at the start of this campaign\u201D. Guardiola also talked about the Qatar Foundation and the board\u2019s decision to make the club\u2019s general assembly to validate the agreement reached. He remembered the two years he spent in Qatar, said he was very well treated there, and reflected about how the relations between the Western and Muslim worlds.


Asked about his tactics for the match, Guardiola explained: \u201Cthe most important thing isn\u2019t whether we play with three or four at the back, it\u2019s rather about finding a balance that allows us to play our attacking game and keep possession and our position on the pitch. Against Osasuna we played Alves up front and it worked okay, but we are more used to playing with a four man defence. Playing with three at the back in Mestalla stadium might be a bit risky No system is infallible \u2013we\u2019ll make our decision tomorrow\u201D.

The League three games in

Guardiola also gave his take on the league after the first three games: \u201C we didn\u2019t need Madrid to lose at Llevant to realise that everything is going to be tough and each year it\u2019s harder. Nobody is giving anything away in this league. The next two games aren\u2019t about us laying down a marker: they will be two important games , but they won\u2019t be decisive\u201D.

One game at a time

The chance of starting a run of wins isn\u2019t what Guardiola is concerned about either: \u201Cwinning runs, records and things like that don\u2019t take you anywhere \u2013winning games comes from hard work and taking each game as it comes. Wining always helps of course, but this is a long distance race. However, I can assure you that we will go out tomorrow feeling very strong\u201D.

Spanish Cup headaches

Guardiola also reacted to the RFEF decision to schedule Barça\u2019s first Cup game on November 16th \u2013 a day after an international match day \u2013 as a result of FC Barcelona playing in the World Club Cup on the originally planned date: \u201Cit\u2019s a problem and someone will have to sort it out. I can only field 4 B team players and I\u2019ll probably only have three or four available from the first team squad. If the rest are with their national squads, I don\u2019t know what we will do\u201D.


Barça\u2019s coach also expressed his satisfaction with the board\u2019s decision to ask the members representatives to decide on the Qatar sponsorship issue: \u201Cit\u2019s very good that we debate this and also a very good decision of the board\u2019s to let the members decide on it. It\u2019s one of the healthy democratic values we have. I can tell you that I lived for two years in Qatar and my family and I received wonderful treatment. Qatar is opening up to the Western world and I know the efforts that the Qatar Foundation is putting in to do some really good things. I think that we often don\u2019t understand the Muslim world \u2013nor they us. Qatar is on a roll right now, with the World Cup going there and their bid for the Olympics and that is the result of an extraordinary effort that the country is making to open itself to the world, whilst maintaining its own traditions. These are difficult times and the board has the obligation to search for alternatives. Qatar is the most open Muslim country and the closest to the Western democracies, but they need time. If the members decide to continue, then we will still have the sponsorship of a foundation which is doing things for research and for culture, if not, then we will move ahead with different resources. Whatever happens, the players will continue to run and fight, which in the end is the most important thing\u201D.


  • David Villa playing last season against Valencia (by FC Barcelona)

  • David Villa playing last season against Valencia (by FC Barcelona)