PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Josep Guardiola’s farewell and Tito Vilanova’s appointment was at the heart of José Manuel Pinto’s press conference this morning and the keeper explained: “I completely understand what Guardiola has done. He takes everything very seriously and that takes a big toll mentally. You can’t compare them, but Tito has the character and strength, as well as our full backing”..

No change in style

Asked if the changeover would affect the team’s performance, Pinto replied: “I don’t think much will change because the two of them share the same vision. We are all relaxed about it and we are right behind Tito and his way of looking at football”. Pinto didn’t want to hear talk about the end of an era, insisting: “Only time will tell”.

Pinto did admit however, that: “all of us have been affected by the news and we’ve all felt bad about it”.

Individual awards for collective effort

The keeper also believes that Messi can win the Pichichi as the league’s highest scorer this season: “I want Messi to win –if he wins, the whole team wins. If he scores, it’s down to the work the whole team have put in”. Pinto also insisted that Víctor Valdés, who is guaranteed the Zamora as the keeper who’s conceded least goals this season if he plays no more league games this campaign: “is the keeper who most deserves it”.