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Guardiola, en el partit contra el Granada / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

“We are witnessing the best [player] in every sense. He does everything, and he does it every three days. I’m sorry for those that want to sit on his throne, but this lad is the best. Hopefully we can enjoy his football for many more years.” Josep Guardiola is a happy man and he has the humble honour of training the world’s best player, Leo Messi, who scored a hat-trick against Granada to become the Club’s all-time high top goalscorer in official matches. His 234 goals have delighted the world of football, and Guardiola is in lockstep with awed football fans and pundits alike. “Leo has rightfully entered into history,” he said. He also has no qualms about comparing the Argentine to Michael Jordan: “there are few players that dominate in this fashion, and he does it.” The manager said that at Messi’s goalscoring rate, it will be difficult for any other player to break the Argentine’s record.

Tribute to the ‘Barça of the Five Cups’

“On the day that Leo Messi broke César’s record we played a game like one would have been played in that era, a 5 to 3 as a tribute to the Barça of the Five Cups.” That’s how Guardiola analysed tonight’s match against Granada. The manager also played down the fact that the Andalusian side drew level on 61 minutes. “[The game] had all the ingredients of a football match. I want to congratulate the team for overcoming all of today’s adversities.”

Goalscoring midfielders

Xavi scored once again, which takes his tally past his personal best record for goals scored in a season (14). Guardiola recognised that “this year the midfielders are scoring quite a few goals; we’re trying to get them to have more presence in the area.” The manager also took the chance to congratulate Isaac Cunenca and Cristian Tello, seeing that “both of the wingers won us the match.”

Against Mallorca, Guardiola will not be able to count on Alves, who was sent off, and Adriano, injured. “It’s a shame, but we’ll find two more players. We’ll bring up players from the reserve side, I suppose it’ll be Montoya. We’ll go to Mallorca to compete like we did today.”

Bartomeu: “We have Messi for many years to come”

Athletic vice-president Jose Maria Bartomeu congratulated Leo Messi for breaking César’s record. The director recognised that “it’s unlikely that another player like Leo will  play [this sport] and break this record.” He said “we have a fantastic player for many years to come. We’re privileged.” The director is pleased to see Pep Guardiola’s team succeed year after year. On the manager’s possible contract extension, Bartomeu said that “he’s an important person, he turned this team around, the Club and Barça’s athletic vision. We want him to stay. He represents much more than a manager and we hope that he stays.” He also talked about Abidal, “we hope everything works out for him. We’re optimistic.”


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