Josep Guardiola during the match at the Vicente Calderón / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Josep Guardiola has concluded his time on the FC Barcelona bench in the best way possible, with a victory in the last match of the season, in the Copa del Rey Final. It’s the fourth title of the year, and 14th during his time as Barça’s boss. The manager, who was very clam, explained during his last press conference that he’s leaving “happy,” especially because he “was able to to be part of this process that started so long ago, but it didn’t start nor does it end with me. I’m leaving something behind for those that take my place.” He added: “we didn’t invent anything. Everyone simply implemented their ideas.”

“I’m leaving happy”

The Barça manager said that the team he’s managed “has left a good memory.” He added that “I’m infinitely content. I’m leaving happy, with great satisfaction, and leaving a future for the Club so that things can continue to work. We’ve had a great cycle. 14 titles in four years is a difficult feat to achieve. I’m convinced that we’re leaving a good memory behind, with time people will say that these players played great football and that it was enjoyable.”

On the match at the Vicente Calderón, the manager believes that his team played “very well in the first 35 minutes.” However, in the second half the players “were not as good” and that the Athletic Club players “created quite a few problems for us.” On Marcelo Bielsa’s team, Guardiola said that “they are one of the most magnificent teams I’ve seen all year. I’m an absolute fan of Athletic, of their ideas. They never ever give up. I congratulate them for the fantastic season they’ve had. They’ve taught us a lot of things.”

The most analytical season

Finally, Guardiola said that, in terms of football, that this “was the best season yet.” He added, “we’ve grown tactically. In the first years it was all fireworks, pure energy. This season was more analytical. I’m convinced that with time the team will be even better,” he concluded. At the end of the press conference, the members of the press at the Vicente Calderón press room gave Guardiola a standing ovation.

“Messi has taught me to be more competitive”

Josep Guardiola singled out Leo Messi in his postmatch press conference: “he has taught me to be more competitive, I’m more competitive now than when I first arrived. It’s clear that we would have not won 14 titles in 4 years if we didn’t have him. I’ve learned a lot of things about football thanks to him. On our part, we’ve tried to teach him that if he participates in a collective dynamic of game play that he, personally, gains a lot more. It has been a privilege to train the best player I have ever seen. With his age and competitive spirit, he’ll continue to give a lot of things to this magnificent Club.”

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