“It’s desire that makes you European Champions” states Guardiola

Barça’s coach, Pep Guardiola reckons that his team’s hunger for success will be key on Saturday at the Champions League final against Manchester United: “I want them to be conscious of what we are playing for”, he told reporters at the Camp Nou this evening. FC Barcelona travels on Tuesday night to London, due to the volcanic ash cloud.

Roger Bogunyà

May 24, 2011 11:11 PM

Barcelona (FCB).- Beyond tactics, absentees and precedents, Pep Guardiola believes that the key to the game this Saturday is going to be his players’ attitude- win or lose, Guardiola wants his players to be fully aware of what is at stake: “I want them to be conscious of what we are playing for. Many of the players have won lots of things and to win, you have to do lots of things right. Their desire to be European Champions is what will mark the final”. Besides, FC Barcelona decided to travel this Tuesday night to London, because of the risk of not being able to fly due to the volcanic ash cloud over the British Islands.

As an example of the positive attitude, Guardiola referred to an incident in the 2009 final when Piqué got to a ball Valdes had parried ahead of United’s Park: “we have to be able to achieve that point of desire in the heads of all of the players”.

No favourites

Asked if he felt his team were favourites, Guardiola replied: “I would feel very presumptuous if I felt we were favourites against a team like Manchester United, who have played in three of the last four Champions League finals and in a game we are going to play in London. If my players feel they are favourites, I’ll tell them they are more mistaken than ever”. Pep insisted though that his players will arrive at the final “perfect!”

Hoping for “a good final”

Guardiola thinks the Wembley game will be “a good final, but you never know. The fear of losing, sometimes stops that happening”. As to his opponents, Guardiola was full of praise for Ferguson’s team: “We have to guess what United will do. Park, Nani, Chicharito, Valencia... they are all very intense in their pressuring. They are a very dangerous team in space. They can put out four or five different line ups. They are one of the best teams in the world”.


Guardiola also revealed  that he’s watched the Rome final a couple of times: “we sat and watched it and United were much better than us in the first half, when we created just one chance –Eto’o’s goal and only had two and a half long periods of possession. We had more control in the second half. The level was very similar between us – they are competitive and strong”.

Volcanic Ash Cloud Threat

FC Barcelona decided to travel to London this Tuesday night, in order not to risk volcanic ash cloud impeding air travel. “I hope the cloud doesn’t affect the Barcelona people – I hope that not only we can get there, but that the fans can too. The final wouldn’t make sense with half the ground empty” said Guardiola.