Barcelona won't bow to big-spending Real
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has warned big-spending Real Madrid that his side won't give up their reign as European and Spanish champions without a fight.sports Updated: Aug 10, 2009 13:50 IST
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has warned big-spending Real Madrid that his side won't give up their reign as European and Spanish champions without a fight.
After playing second fiddle to Barcelona last season, Real have spent over 180 million pounds to sign stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema during the close-season.
The Bernabeu club's spree has led many pundits to predict they will take Barcelona's Spanish title and replace them as Champions League winners as well.
But Guardiola sees no reason why Barcelona can't retain both trophies because his squad still has the same skill and spirit that inspired their treble triumph last season.
"We are going to try (to win everything)," Guardiola said after his side's 1-1 draw against Tottenham in the Wembley Cup.
"We know Madrid paid a lot of money to get marvellous players but we are willing to attack and I am convinced we have the spirit to play good football and get something at the end of the season."
Guardiola admitted talks to sign Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Inter Milan are still on-going but he expects a positive conclusion to the negotiations soon.
The transfer moved closer to completion when Ibrahimovic agreed personal terms on Friday and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o is set to move to the San Siro as part of the deal.
"Eto'o has made his decision but they are still making the negotiations. In the next few days we will know exactly what happens," Guardiola said.
Another player who could be leaving the Nou Camp is Eidur Gudjohnsen, one of the few experienced Barcelona players to feature against Tottenham.
The former Chelsea forward has been a bit-part player since moving to Spain and is keen to find regular first-team action.
"I have spoken with Eidur. We are looking for the best situation for him," Guardiola said. "He wants to play. We will see in the next weeks."
Guardiola rested Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, Xavi and Andres Iniesta against Spurs, but he expects Argentina forward Messi to play 45 minutes in Sunday's second Wembley Cup match against African champions Al Ahly.
France forward Henry is likely to miss out again as a precaution, giving Guardiola the chance to once again play the gifted youngsters who shone against Spurs.
Bojan Krkic opened the scoring in the first half before Tottenham's teenage midfielder Jake Livermore headed a late equaliser.
"There are three, four or five players who are at a top level already," Guardiola said.
"They are young and playing for Barcelona is not easy. But for me it is a good test to play against Tottenham, one of the best teams in England.
"It is a long season and you never know what will happen with injuries so it is great for me to know they can play a part."