The Supercopa may be less than 24 hours away, but at the Barça camp, there is no such thing as a quiet day. Ahead of tomorrow’s second leg at the Bernabéu, one that could very well bring Tito his first title as coach of FC Barcelona, the Blaugrana head opened up on all things Barça, from the crazy rumor mill surrounding transfers, to the individual importance of every player on the squad.
1.“To Win My First Title at the Bernabéu Won’t Be Anything Special”
As Pep Guardiola’s sidekick, Tito stood by as Barcelona lifted 14 trophies under the former coach, so it naturally follows that victory should come as no surprise to Vilanova. As most people would expect, there must certainly be something so grand about possibly winning his first title at the Bernabéu, against none other than “eye-poker” Mourinho, but a modest Tito insisted that winning is winning, no matter where the victory occurs. Looking back, Tito further stated that one of his fondest memories was when Barça won the Champions League, facing the best and rising to the top, admittedly, it has to be impossible not to enjoy such a moment! Be sure to keep an eye out for Vilanova’s Barça in this year’s CL, as Tito surely wants one of those in the bag.
2.Tito v Mourinho – The Showdown
Real Madrid, a team known for their aggressive and sometimes, foul style of play, is sure to give Barça a challenge during the second leg. We are sure to see Tito pace up and down the sideline, while Mourinho sits on the bench, occasionally whispering to Karanka while covering his mouth. Many may claim that Barcelona is a diving team, a team that always acts up…now, I won’t disagree with that completely, but the fact remains, Real Madrid’s aggressiveness on the pitch is sometimes more than just questionable. Consider it a David and Goliath-scenario, short, swift players against tall, stronger adversaries. Just like David, Barça will be victorious, as Tito best put it, “Our players show their true character, they don’t play aggressively”. Here’s to hoping the showdown doesn’t involve too much scuffling…
3.“The Individual Strength of Every Players Makes This a Team”
In FC Barcelona’s last game against Osasuna, we witnessed as Iniesta and Cesc struggled to play the ball forward, while Xavi sat on the bench during the first half. Without “Master” midfielder Xavi, Barcelona seemed to lack that quick-paced game we have all become accustomed to. Now, one could say the same of last season’s squad sans David Villa following his injury in December, and even though Barcelona seems to have plenty in the way of strikers, they still lost both La Liga and the Champions League. So, where would Barcelona be without the likes of Xavi? Well, according to Tito, the squad will always be different depending on the selection. “The game is never the same without Xavi, or Messi, or Puyol, but every player brings certain strength to the team.”
4.Barcelona Rumor Mill Spins Wild with Transfer News
With Dos Santos and Afellay, two of Barça’s most promising players, constantly being linked to transfers, the news following the press conference that Afellay, along with Keita and Muniesta, would not be taking the trip to the Bernabéu had everyone speculating that Afellay would stay behind to discuss his future possibilities. Linked to everyone from Inter Milan to Schalke 04, chances are that he will be laying down his Barça jersey by the end of the week. As for Dos Santos, Tito spoke highly of the attacking midfielder, and reiterated that it is certainly not a personal choice to let him go, but a smart career move for the youngster.
5.“Real Madrid Will Be More Dangerous Tomorrow Night”
The 5-point gap between rivals, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is a double-edged sword. Real Madrid, who have yet to win a game this season is sure to come out looking for a victory against FC Barcelona, at home, and Tito couldn’t have said it any better, “If Barça lost three games consecutively; they would come out more motivated than ever”. Does this mean that the second leg of the Supercopa will be more enticing than the first? Should we expect some scuffling, shoving, or diving, or will we bear witness to 90 minutes of the beautiful game, played by two of the best teams in the world? It may be a stretch, but here is to hoping…
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