He may have just won the 12th honour of his hugely successful tenure, but FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola was quick to shift the focus on to his “amazing” players ? and in particular Lionel Messi ? after a 2-0 defeat of FC Porto in the UEFA Super Cup. Guardiola said Messi, scorer of the first goal, is a player “who can drag everyone along”, while defeated coach Vítor Pereira could find little fault with his team’s display despite their failure to prevent the Azulgrana from triumphing in the competition for the fourth time.
Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
We’re very, very happy. Not just with those 12 titles, which is absolutely great, but because it was very difficult to win this. Twelve out of 15 would have been unimaginable but it just shows how great these players are ? I never tire of praising them. After the Spanish Super Cup I thought ‘will they be competitive’? Will they have the will to play? Considering the time of the season they did extremely well and all the players were there for each other.
We all know who Leo is; even with very little training this summer he showed he can be decisive.
To win all the titles these guys have in the last three years you need plenty of things, but one of them is a player who can drag everyone along. We have Leo and when you add the others then they are amazing.
We played an excellent match considering the conditions. A lot of factors can affect finals; finals like Wembley don’t happen very often. My players are very reliable, they’ve experienced this situation many times before, and their serene confidence comes over time [after time].
We have a generation of young players but they’re still very eager to win and they keep impressing me with the way they move forward. To win 12 out of 15 titles is an average of four a year ? it’s too much, unthinkable! It’s only possible because FC Barcelona have a generation of players who have made things possible, and a lot of people contributed to that.
Vítor Pereira, Porto coach
I hope you enjoyed a good game, I hope you enjoyed the performance of our team and our attitude. I witnessed a great game between two teams who respected each other and who both wanted to win. Naturally in such an intense game, in such a demanding game in terms of concentration, sometimes one moment will lead to a goal.
It was a shame we weren’t able to capitalise on the mistakes we made Barcelona commit and take advantage of them.
I’m a big fan of Barcelona, they’re a team of great quality who play in an exciting way. That’s the football I enjoy watching, which means I am glued to the television. Today we have a Porto team that likes to hold on to the ball, apply pressure upfield and is not afraid of any opponent. We never give up and we told everybody that we weren’t here to watch Barcelona play but to play our own game.
We created many problems for Barcelona and were up to the task in terms of defending from the front and making them make mistakes. It’s hard enough with 11 against 11 against Barcelona but when you are two players down it is very, very difficult.
I was happy with our performance, the only thing I didn’t like was the result. At the end of the game emotions were high but [Guardiola] congratulated me for the great performance we had given and wished me good luck for the season, telling me to win all the games Porto has ahead of us.