Pep Guardiola. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ (FCB).

“It wasn’t meant to be this year. The first thing that goes through my head is immense sorrow. Forgive me if I’m not clairvoyant, but I have the perception that with time I’ll say: ‘we played an excellent tie.’” Josep Guardiola analyzed the two-leg tie against Chelsea with his heart and and head: “we played exceptionally well for 180 minutes, we did everything we could to be in the final. We’ve never worked this hard to be in a final.”

He added: “we have to know what we did incorrectly and correct it.” The Barça manager analyzed the moments after his team took a two-goal lead: “with the 2-0 we didn’t stop, we kept on attacking. No one can have everything. It can be a lesson that you learn with time.”

The story repeats itself

Guardiola, who congratulated Chelsea “for their defensive work” and for their spot in the final, was clear and honest: “we failed because we didn’t score [more goals]. However, we worked very hard to be here.” According to the manager, “the important thing is that we made it here and we were once again very, very close.”

He also highlighted a couple of key aspects of tonight’s match: “the 2-1 wasn’t good for us psychologically. We went out in the second half, we had a penalty, and they were reinforced.” He added with resignation: “we saw a repeat of the same story in Lodon, they scored in the 45+1 minute.”

Praise for the fans and for Messi

Guardiola especially wanted to thank the fans for their support. “The fans, simply spectacular. They carried us and I’m very thankful to them. They also saw that we gave it our all. Perhaps we have changed their mentality but we have to win once again,” said the manager while trying to hide his disappointment with a smile. Guardiola also acknowledged Leo Messi in a very public way: “I want to thank him for everything he’s done, my admiration for him is insurmountable. He’s an example to us all on how to be better each day.”

Barça now have four games left in La Liga and the final of the Cup. Pep Guardiola explained how he plans to keep his men motivated: “we have to value the emotional aspect of the players  and see how we can recover them.”

Meeting with Rosell

When asked if he will continue to manage the team next season, Guardiola said: “I’ll meet with President Sandro Rosell in the coming days and we’ll decide in what’s best. Obviously, it’s time to talk about it.”