Guardiola: “this is a unique generation of players”
The boss expressed his pride in the team after their latest European win, claiming: “they are a unique generation of players, with a hunger to win that means they always respond to the difficulties a final presents”
Roma's exit in the qualifying round of the Europa Cup has put the spotlight on their manager Luis Enrique, but Guardiola, who knows the ex-B team coach's qualities well, insisted: "he's more than a fantastic coach. You have to show patience. Obviously you always want results in football. If you give him time he will achieve that because he is stubborn, very competitive and has very clear ideas. These things can't be built in just four days".
After seeing his team pick up their 12th trophy since he took over, Guardiola was quick to stress that it was the players who deserved the praise: "they are a unique generation who will go down in the history of our club and of football in general. Their desire and hunger to win means they are always able to respond to the difficulties of a final. I never cease to be surprised by their attitude which always pushes us one step further ahead. Many of them are also good friends and have been for quite a while and that's not an easy thing to achieve".
Guardiola even admitted that he had wondered if his players would be able to maintain their desire to keep winning after the glut of success they have enjoyed, but: "they never let me down. We are very happy with this trophy, because we knew it was going to be difficult. They have a competitive spirit like nobody else. We've been through this situation before and we are able to believe we can do it again. It's another title for the Club –our 12th out of 15 –which is amazing- and I am happy for the institution, we are taking more European titles and the image of the Club is once again excellent. This Club has brought together a generation of players capable of these things and these stats".
League the test
After the fantastic start to the season, with both domestic and European Super Cups taken, Guardiola knows that now it's time to turn his attention to the league –a competition which he reckons will reveal the true extent of his team's possibilities: "we've won two titles and we are very happy with that, now the league will show us if we continue to be as competitive as we have been in recent years. This team have to show again what we have shown over the last few seasons. We have made a good start and now we have to get down to the day to day work".
As well as praising the team's overall effort, Guardiola had special praise for his two goal scorers, Messi and Cesc: " Messi is decisive in all senses –his ability to make decisions and resolve situations gives the group greater confidence", whilst lauding Cesc's control in the second goal and insisting: "we will be doing what we can to help him put in a good season".
Always on the alert
Finally, Guardiola commented: "there's always room for improvement", insisting that he always "has to be on the alert – that's an obligation of the manager. It takes a long time to build a team and just a moment for it to fall apart".