Guardiola determined to put on a show

Guardiola determined to put on a show

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola believes his side and opponents Manchester United have a responsibility to live up to the “final of the decade” billing for tomorrow’s Champions League showpiece at Wembley.

Arguably the two biggest names in Europe go head to head at the home of football and Guardiola is expecting a high-class encounter.

“We have to show tomorrow both teams playing football,” he said.

“We have the audience of the world and we have to show we deserve this credit of ’the final of the decade’.

“When you play in a final and both teams want to win and both want to play, for the rest of the world it will be a good final.

“They have their strength, we have our skill, and we have to see who controls the situation best.”

Barca have been hailed by many pundits and observers as the greatest club team of all time, but Guardiola is unsure how they stack up against the great Catalan sides of all time.

“There have been many great teams, it’s a long history and it’s impossible to compare,” he said.

“We hope we can be proud in the future – that in the next five, 10 or 15 years, people will remember this team and say ’one time I saw this team...’.

“It’s like a great film, only with the passing of time can you know if a film is good and it’s the same with us.”

Guardiola would not be drawn on his long-term future in the role, but key defender Carles Puyol and goalkeeper Victor Valdes both stated their desire to see him stay at the club for years to come.

“Let’s leave this for another day,” Guardiola said on the issue.

“When you win, you can look at the future more calmly but it all takes its toll one way or another.

“It’s three or four years going non-stop, that’s the way it is. When you win, at least it lets you keep going. You’re still in there but know you have to keep winning.”

Valdes, though, said: “He shouldn’t leave, he needs to stay with Barcelona, it is important for everyone.”

And Puyol added: “He’s the best trainer in the world and this is his place, I hope he is here for many years.”

Knee and hamstring injuries to Puyol have been a key area of concern in Barca’s build-up but he insisted: “I’m fine, I’m feeling good.

“I’m ready to go for it and I am in the coach’s hands.”

Provisional squad: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Puyol, Milito, Abidal, Xavi, Iniesta, Mascherano, Keita, Busquets, Villa, Bojan, Messi, Jeffren, Pedro, Afellay, Mino, Olazabal.

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