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Guardiola during the press conference / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

With qualification as group leaders in the Champions League secured, Barça will take on BATE Borisov in the last group stage match this Tuesday at the Camp Nou. For this reason, and keeping in mind that the team must travel to the Bernabéu this Saturday, Josep Guardiola will use many players from Eusebio Sacristan’s side to round out his squad. The Barça boss said that “the best times as manger come during these moments . . . they shouldn’t hold back because of stage fright or fear of their manager. Whatever they do, my opinion of them will not change, because I know them fairly well.”

Along these lines, Guardiola affirms that Barça faces this match “with utmost seriousness,” and highlights that the Barça B players that get to play for the first team do so “with enthusiasm,” he also added that “it’s good to have them close.” The manager hopes that the reserves will work hard during tomorrow’s match and that “they show all of their talent.” Guardiola also reminded the youngsters that “to move up to the first team you must take small steps, tomorrow is one of them.”

“They will give their all”

For Guardiola, the fact that one can watch a Champions League match when “most of the players are lads from the B side” is an incentive. “We’ll help them so that tomorrow they will be able to develop their play in the best possible way,” he said. Guardiola is totally convinced that the players picked to defend Barça’s colours tomorrow will “give absolutely everything” for the cause.

When asked about what kind of play he expects from BATE tomorrow, the manager said, “they were defensive and tried to counterattack during the first match.” However, Guardiola said there was a possibility that “they might be a bit more ambitious because they know that they will be playing against younger players.”

“Whatever happens at the Bernabéu, there will be a lot of Liga left”

With the clásico edging closer each day, the questions about the match against Madrid were unavoidable. After saying that “it won’t be a surprise how we play at the Bernabéu, we know each other perfectly, there are few secrets between us,” Guardiola added that regardless of the outcome of the match, “there’s still a lot of Liga yet to be played.” “Whatever happens, we must keep on training and looking forward, because there is a lot of Liga left. It’s obvious that we’ll try to find the way to play well, generate chances, and limit their options . . . I’m only preoccupied with playing the best game possible,” he said.

The nominations for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, “an honour”

This Monday FIFA announced that Xavi and Messi were once again finalists to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or: “without titles it wouldn’t make sense. It’s an honour that last year we had three finalists and this year we have two. It’s our time to be joyful. People need to vote without being bothered.”


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