Pep praises youngsters, talks El Clásico
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola paid tribute to the youngsters who made a seamless transition into the first team as the Catalans beat BATE Borisov 4-0 in the UEFA Champions League last night.
With his men already guaranteed top spot in Group H, and with one eye on Saturday's trip to the Bernabeu to face La Liga leaders Real Madrid, Guardiola rested virtually his entire first XI.
Goals from 19-year-old Sergi Roberto, 20-year old Martin Montoya, and two from Pedro, at 24 the third-oldest player in the starting line-up, earned them an emphatic victory.
After the match, Guardiola was fulsome in his praise of the players on show: "A trainer asked [Marti] Riverola, who has been at the club since he was seven years old, if he was ready and he responded, 'I have had a lifetime preparing for this moment'.
"Pinto, Maxwell, Fontas and Thiago, for what they gave, I have personally congratulated because I am very happy with them. It's not easy to put seven lads from the reserve side on the pitch and give the impression of playing well. You don't do that every day.
"It's beautiful that we all had a part to play in this, it makes us proud. They are quality players and I hope they can help the team in the future."
Madrid trip on the mind
Guardiola then turned his attention to El Clásico on Saturday, with Jose Mourinho's side three points ahead with a game in hand.
He said: "Madrid are always strong. Tomorrow we begin to think, to see what we have to do. They have an impeccable track record, they are always good and this year too.
"I'll try to do my best. Let's try to find the way to suffer the least amount possible and to attack in the best way possible."
Real Madrid & Barcelona legends
Click this ‘Classic Players’ link to read about the superb careers of Barcelona and Real Madrid legends including Johan Cruyff, Alfredo Di Stefano, Sandor Kocsis, Raymond Kopa, Michael Laudrup, Ferenc Puskas, Romario, Ricardo Zamora & Zinedine Zidane.