Guardiola: Players deserve credit
Pep Guardiola insisted his players deserved all the credit after the European champions picked up their first silverware of the new season last night.
Last season's treble winners triumphed 3-0 at the Camp Nou to complete a 5-1 aggregate victory over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Supercup. A delighted Guardiola said: "The team played at a great level, very dynamic and pressured well while moving the ball around.
"We also created numerous chances and they did not have many against us at all. As for the players, all I can do is to give them the desire to win, but the players all deserve the credit. More importantly we have to maintain this spirit."
Barca never looked in trouble last night despite a goalless opening period, and a second-half brace from Lionel Messi plus another from Bojan Krkic earned Guardiola's troops a convincing win to add to last weekend's 2-1 success at San Mames.
"In ties such as this you never know what can happen and Athletic are always resourceful," Guardiola said. "I think that in finals we have to be more clinical, but in pre-season things are always slightly more difficult."
The 38-year-old added on the club website: "The aim of pre-season was to win the Spanish Supercup and the European one too before making a good start to the league. This is the first trophy as last season has passed and we are all pleased."
Thierry Henry admitted he had played through the pain barrier after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament strain in his right knee towards the end of last season. "I always hurt," the Frenchman told L'Equipe. "I have been struggling for three weeks with my tendons and especially with my knee.
"I was forced to rest for the France game (1-0 win over Faroe Islands on August 12) and the Gamper tournament (1-0 defeat to Manchester City last Wednesday) because I could not continue.
"I think I wanted to come back too quickly in the first leg in the Spanish Supercup. It often happens in early season - simple as that. But it is moving away and going much better. (Last night) my tendons left me alone. Once I warmed up, I could run normally."