Thiago, en el transcurs de la roda de premsa / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

While reiterating the team’s respect and acceptance of Josep Guardiola’s decision to not continue as Barça’s manager, Thiago Alcántara praised the newly appointed boss Tito Vilanova. The player considers that next year’s team “will be more or less the same as in past years.” He added: “it won’t be anything new, except that we’ve lost someone very important to us. He [Guardiola] will be the most notable absence in the dressing room. Tito has always been by Guardiola’s side, he knows the team perfectly and he knows what he wants.”

Along the same lines, the midfielder said that Tito and the players are very accustomed to working together: “we’re very accustomed to see Tito in the dressing room. We know him, and he knows us. I’m convinced that he’ll adapt well to this new role, and we’ll have no problems identifying him as the head manager. We have a lot of confidence in him.” Thiago also talked about the division of labour between Guardiola and Tito for the past four seasons, noting that the outgoing manager attended “to the psychological aspects of the game while Tito has guided us tactically.”

Puyol’s injury

The news broke this morning that Carles Puyol will be out of action for up to six weeks, which means he’ll miss the Cup final. “It’s a very important loss for us ahead of the King’s Cup final,” said Thiago, just before saying that the Catalan captain “will do everything he can to get to the EURO.” The midfielder added that he’d like to participate in the international tournament.

When asked about what someone with the character of Puyol brings to the team, Thiago said: “consistency, the top-notch level of play he brings to what is the best Club in the world. Each person can come to their own conclusions after that.” Also on the Barça captain, Thiago highlighted that Puyol shows “a consistency throughout each and every match, it’s something that’s contagious and excites you.” He added, “Carle’s commitment is amazing. He’s our insignia, a leader in every regard, he exemplifies the Club’s values like no one else.”

Thiago's advice: Keep calm and believe in yourself

When asked to give advice to players that are on the verge of breaking into the first team, Thiago said: “they need to be calm, meaning, that they need to be faithful to the qualities that brought them this far, and they have to believe in themselves.” This advice is almost identical to the guidance that Guardiola gave the midfielder when he was called up to the first team.

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