By guest writer Thomas Rooney
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has praised his team’s bravery and hard work after they secured a 2-0 victory over Manchester United in the Champions League final. Guardiola – who also won the trophy as a player in 1992 – said that his team have worked ‘many, many hours’ this season and to become European Champions is their ‘payment’.
The Barcelona boss went on to say that they were ‘never cowards’ during the match, meaning that they took risks going forward on several occasions. Guardiola says that when you are ‘attacking and daring’, you automatically increase your chances of coming out on top.
This is exactly what happened last night as Barcelona ran out deserved winners. Other than the opening ten minutes, the Spanish club dominated proceedings and Alex Ferguson’s men had no answer to it.
Samuel Eto’o got the ball rolling in the tenth minute when he capitalised on some sloppy Manchester United defending before poking the ball past Edwin van der Sar. Lionel Messi then sealed the win with
twenty minutes remaining by guiding a superb header into the net.
The victory completed a remarkable season for Barcelona as they have become the first Spanish club to win three titles in one season after the domestic league and cup as well as the Champions League.
Considering this was Guardiola’s first full season in charge, it has to go down as a remarkable achievement. He admits that his team have had the ‘best season in history’ and one that he can now celebrate with his players.
As for his opposite number, Alex Ferguson made no complaints about the final result. The Manchester United boss admitted that his side ‘did not play well’, but also said that you have to ‘give Barcelona credit’ for the way they performed.
Ferguson then stated that Xavi and Andres Iniesta were the main reason Barcelona dominated as the midfield duo ‘kept the ball all night’ and comfortably won the battle with Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs.
The evening belonged to the whole of Barcelona though and not just two players. They have had an incredible season and played some very attractive football on the way. Congratulations to them, their success is fully deserved.