Gerard Piqué celebrating the title / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ -FCB

“We’re very pleased” and “we deserved this Cup.” These were the two sentences that most of the Barça players said after winning the Club’s 26th Copa del Rey title. Gerard Piqué said that the team had placed “a lot of emphasis on this match and that the players were eager” to win the title. He added that “we should always place value on the Cup.” The Azulgrana defender praised Guardiola’s strategy for tonight’s game, especially, in in the first half: “We knew that they would try to pressure us and we were clear that, whoever started off stronger in the beginning would win the Cup.” The Barça captain for tonight’s match, Xavi, agreed with his team-mate: “we took the lead and we played a great first half. In the second, fatigue forced us to take our foot off the pedal.”

Farewell and tribute to Guardiola

The team dedicated the title to the architect of Barça’s game plan, Pep Guardiola. “I believe that it could not have ended better for Pep,” said the Barça defender. Xavi thanked the Azulgrana manager for “everything that he’s taught me.” Guardiola was not the only person that the title was dedicated to, Abidal, who could not attend the match, was also remembered by the Barça players. In fact, after the players collected the trophy, they draped Abidal’s shirt over it as a tribute to their recovering team-mate.

After the celebration the players congratulated Athletic Club for the match and they thanked the Barça fans for their support. “The fans were exemplary,” said Piqué.

Positive season

Xavi explained what it felt like to lift the trophy: “it’s unique seeing that at that moment in time I represent the whole institution, the managers and the fans. It’s an honour to be able to lift trophies for the best team in the world.” Barça’s second captain also talked about Barça’s season by saying that the team “are used to competing” and used to “fighting for titles.” The midfielder said that his team-mates “never get tired of winning” and that, despite winning 14 out of 19 titles, “we want more trophies” next season.

Here are the statements made by the players after the match:

Pedro:

“The first minutes went in our favour. They were stronger in the second half.

“There are a lot of good moments, but I’m sticking with the good times with Guardiola, with the team-mates and with the titles we’ve won.

“We’re very pleased. The team recuperated well, we trained just enough and we played a great game.

“This victory is dedicated to the whole team. It was a tough season for everyone and we deserved this title. We’re very pleased that we’ve won it.”

Iniesta:

“We scored the goals, we were effective and we were at liberty to be calm in the second half.”

Dos Santos:

“Another title! I’m happy to be able to live these experiences #viscaelbarça.”

Valdés:

“I’m happy that this title culminates our good season. Next year we will give it our all once again.”

Bartra:

“Champions!!!! Here’s a photo of the captain!”

Cuenca:

“It’s an honour to be able to dedicate this Cup to you, to the manager and to my team-mates Abidal and Dani, who were not able to be with us tonight.”