Andrés Iniesta, following the example of some other Barça players this week, appeared at La Masía in support of the book “Héroes del Deporte” (“Heroes of Sport”) which has been written and edited for charity. He was, of course, asked about Pep Guardiola’s renewal, Barça’s performance in La Liga, and various other things. Some of his words can be found below. The original article, in Diario Sport, as well as a short video can be viewed here.
“We do not think Pep will leave,” he replied to the most repeated question of the past few weeks. “We are thinking about facing the most difficult and most beautiful part of the season, on finishing the season in a good way, and that we will have the coach here with us next season, and start all over again with him, fighting to win every title.”
Iniesta reiterated, “we have the desire and conviction that Pep will stay with us for a long time. It’s not that I cannot conceive the idea of him leaving us, it’s not that… it’s just that I want him to stay with us for a long time. We [the players] firmly believe that he is a crucial member of this squad, this club, if not the most [crucial] to make the team work.”
Andrés does not think Guardiola’s renewal depends on this season’s results, a season where the team has reached the Cup final, and has a foot in the Champions League quarter finals, despite their 10 point distance with leaders Real Madrid in La Liga.
“The feeling we have is that the team has done well, but there is also a team that has done better in La Liga and hence the difference. So I do not think his renewal depends on results. I think Pep has repeatedly said he is pleased here,” stated Iniesta.
Regarding the distance from the first spot in La Liga, Andrés said, “we are keeping our options in every tournament we are playing, and particularly in La Liga, we will keep fighting until the end“. Keeping a good dynamic will help Barça to “continue competing well in the Champions League, the Cup final and La Liga, where we hope Madrid will drop some points,” he said.
“To win a League you have to be very consistent, both away and at home, and that is costing us. All matches are tough and the upcoming [ones] will be very hard, as we are playing Atlético de Madrid away. They have a new coach, which has been very good for them, so it will be even more complicated,” he admitted, about his opponents on Sunday.
And back to the distance with Real Madrid, which both Guardiola and Xavi considered excessive, Iniesta has stated that “it is real because these are the numbers. The feeling we have is that we have done well, but we lacked that extra thing that has made us drop some points.” The player didn’t want to relate that difference to the refereeing decisions, that might have hurt Barça this season: “I hardly think that it is related to that. What we must all do is treat the refereeing like it was a taboo subject and not talk about it, as it is not good for us to talk about that matter. There are mistakes and successes in football, so I do not think the point difference has been caused by the referees, by any means,” he declared.
Source and Image: Sport