Despite being the heavy favorites to win the Champions League final, FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola sounds pessimistic and spent, as if sensing that a loss against Manchester United is imminent.
Quoted in Spanish news outlet Adn.es, Guardiola says, “Whoever loses will feel hurt, but losing does not erase what has been done well.” Referring to a report stating that Johan Cruyff said that if Barcelona wins the Champions League final Guardiola will leave, Pep simply said: “My future does not need to be discussed at this time.”
Guardiola issued a warning: "If we play like we did in Rome, we will not win.” The 2009 Champions League final played in Italy’s capital was won by Barca, 2-0, with goals from Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi. With the win, Barcelona earned a historic treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, a feat never before achieved by a Spanish club.
Ironically, Guardiola said that winning, yes, winning may affect him and the club negatively. "The wear and tear does take place, but when you win you have to keep winning and think about continuing the course. Win or lose, there are always problems. Winning allows you to work with more tranquility. But after a year of winning, one has to try to do it again the next year.”
Compared to the squad that beat ManU in Rome, Guardiola said that this year’s Barca team is better but remained extremely cautious and sounded worried. “We are enthusiastic, but if we play at the Rome level, we will not win. In Rome, Manchester United had more intensity. Looking back at that game, I see that we did not play well. Now we have to do a better job.”
They won the match in Rome, 2-0, but Guardiola says they must do a better job. Is he really concerned and worried or is this just a psychological strategy to motivate this players? Does he think that ManU is better and that they have great momentum that will carry them to victory? Is he serious or is this a strategy to try to paint Barca as the underdogs? What to make of Guardiola’s statements?