Confident Barca raring to go

Confident Barca raring to go

We are here to win the tournament, says Guardiola

The European kings overcame Real at the Bernabeu at the weekend to leapfrog their bitter rivals at the top of La Liga, albeit having played a game more.

But Guardiola insisted Barca were already focusing on a different threat in the Far East and the task of winning their second Club World Cup in two years. “Real Madrid were the team of the 20th century and it is true we have enjoyed some success over them recently,” Guardiola told a packed news conference on Monday.

“But there's hardly any difference between the two teams. Real Madrid are a great team, we know that,” he added after his eighth win in 12 ‘Clasicos’ since taking over in 2008.
“We just have to get the players ready for this tournament now. We are here to win the Club World Cup. I want the players to relax and get over their fatigue properly.”

Barca arrived in Japan late on Sunday having jetted out of Spain immediately after their clash with Real.

“We will do a little sightseeing in Tokyo, have some traditional Japanese food in the city to adjust from the tough trip and be ready to do the job,” said Guardiola.

Guardiola admitted he knew little of Asian champions Al Sadd, who could opt for damage limitation when they face the Spanish title holders in Thursday's semifinal in Yokohama. “We haven't analysed our opponents yet,” said Guardiola, once a player for Al Sadd's Qatari rivals Al Ahli from 2003-05.

“Lionel (Messi) and everyone are fit but we will look at team selection after studying our opponents and after looking at the players in training.”

Brazil's Santos will be expected to overpower Japanese champions Kashiwa Reysol in Wednesday's first semifinal to set up a mouth-watering final on December 18.
Guardiola promised a better performance than in 2009, when Barca struggled to beat Argentina's Estudiantes 2-1 in the final after extra time.

“I remember it was very hot and we made some mistakes preparing which we will make sure doesn't happen again,” he said. “We will be ready for the semifinal.”

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)