Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola described his players as ‘amazing’ after winning their 12th title under his reign.
With La Liga and the Champions League yet to start, the Catalan club have already added two titles to their cabinet this season after winning the Spanish and UEFA Super Cups in the space of just one week.
Lionel Messi was instrumental in the 2-0 victory over Porto in the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco on Friday as he netted the opening goal and assisted Cesc Fabregas for the second strike, and Guardiola heaped praise on the diminutive midfielder.
“We’re very, very happy. Not just with those 12 titles, which is absolutely great, but because it was very difficult to win this,” Guardiola said.
“Twelve out of 15 would have been unimaginable but it just shows how great these players are – I never tire of praising them.”
“Considering the time of the season they did extremely well and all the players were there for each other.”
“We all know who Leo is; even with very little training this summer he showed he can be decisive.”
“To win all the titles these guys have in the last three years you need plenty of things, but one of them is a player who can drag everyone along. We have Leo and when you add the others then they are amazing.”
Guardiola said the experience of playing in high-pressure matches like the Champions League final meant his side were well accustomed to big occasions.
“We played an excellent match considering the conditions. A lot of factors can affect finals; finals like Wembley don’t happen very often,” Guardiola said.
“My players are very reliable, they’ve experienced this situation many times before, and their serene confidence comes over time (after time).”
“We have a generation of young players but they’re still very eager to win and they keep impressing me with the way they move forward.”
Porto coach Vitor Pereira praised his side’s display Super Cup, but lamented that the referee failed to signal a penalty in the second half after Eric Abidal collided with Freddy Guarin inside the area 10 minutes from full time.
“I know it is hard to signal a penalty against Barcelona on 80 minutes. If it was in the opposite area, it would have been a penalty,” Pereira said.
“I think we had a great game, always on Barcelona’s level. We wanted to score, we used high pressure, we wanted the ball and we wanted to win the game.”
“We played well in the first half and even after being down 1-0, we had one or two chances.”