Having won 4-0 against Viktoria, FC Barcelona are sure of a place in the last sixteen of the Champions League. Josep Guardiola said that “the players are thrilled to have qualified out of the group with two games in hand … knowing that we will still be in the Champions League in February gives us lots of peace and tranquillity.” All that remains to be done, he says, is to go to Milan and win the right to top the group.

Valdés’ record

Among the many positives to be taken out of tonight’s performance, Víctor Valdés broke a record dating back to 1972/73, namely Miguel Reina’s 824 minutes without conceding a goal for Barça. “He does a great job. He won the record thanks to the save he made [off Ptrzela]. I am sure he’s excited to have surpassed the legendary Reina. I congratulate him and all his colleagues.”

Also, Leo Messi claimed his second consecutive hat-trick, and also scored goals 200, 201 and 202 of his Barça career. “Messi will overtake César as the top the scorer in club history, that’s a fact, and I wouldn’t count out that happening this season. And he’s only 24 … that says everything” he said. The Argentinian only has 33 goals to score in order to meet that target.

Analysing the opposition

Asked about the game this evening at the Synot Tip Aréna, the FCB manager said “when it was 0-0 the game was still alive, until the penalty and red card. It is always hard to play against ten, because they still didn’t stop playing on the counter attack. Viktoria impressed me, and I wish them luck in the future … I am satisfied to have beaten this team, who showed in the first few minutes that they are intense and strong.”

Guardiola also explained that Villa was dropped so that he could get some rest after playing in a lot of games, because “we have Sunday on the horizon. Now we have to think about the next game, which is at San Mamés. It’ll be another good test.”

Rosell: "You couldn't ask for more"

Messi scoring his 200th goal for Barça, Guardiola managing the team for the 200th time, Valdés breaking the record for not conceding a goal and mathematical qualification for the next round of the Champions League... It has been an amazing night for Barça in Europe, and Sandro Rosell says “you couldn’t ask for more” adding that he and his board feel proud to be in charge of such a club. “It’s incredible, it is like asking for everything at Christmas and getting it” he added.
The president was also happy that his team has made it into the next round. “The sooner the better, for everybody, without a doubt. Now it will be easier to go to Milan, where a draw would be a good result.”
Leo Messi’s hat-trick was decisive in the win over Viktoria. Rosell described the player as “amazing. There are no adjectives to describe him. He’s the best in the world. I don’t know what his limits are.”