Tito Vilanova: believes that the Camp Nou was treated to “a very good game of football” this evening where both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid offered up “a great spectacle” and where both teams “created chances.” But above all, the manager is most proud of the “sacrificial spirit” of his players. “We tried to win the match until the very end, and I want to highlight [my players’] spirit of sacrifice,” he said before noting Montoya and Pedro’s two chances at the end of the match.
Vilanova went on to evaluate the final result: “It’s clear that I always think we should win our games, and in the end I thought we could have done it. I think we had our chance with the opportunities that fell to Montoya and Pedro. But if you told me at the beginning of the season that we’d be eight point up by this point, I would have signed on the dotted line. I’m very pleased with [my players’] ambition to dominate, to carry the weight of the match.”
Betting on Adriano
The manager, who was without many of his defenders, decided to fieldAdriano in the center of the defence against Real Madrid: “The technical staff talked it over. I talked to him about it on Friday, and we tried it out in training. I needed to know if he thought he could do it, and he told me he could. I want to thank him for his effort. I also want to thank Piqué for trying to make it, for working morning, afternoon and evening, even though it didn’t work out in the end.” On Alex Song, Vilanova said that “I’ve shown him that I have confidence in him and I’ll continue to do so.” When asked about Marc Bartra, he said that “it wasn’t the time to put him in that situation.”
Messi’s eagerness to improve
Without a doubt, Leo Messi was Barça’s best player against Madrid: “We don’t know where his limits are. You should see how he trains each day – he shows such a willingness to improve. I don’t think we’ll ever see a player like him again. He’s the best player in the world by far.” On the Argentine’s duel with Cristiano Ronaldo, Vilanova said that the Portuguese player would be “much more recognised“ if he didn’t play in the same period as the Blaugrana forward.
When asked about Mourinho’s comments about the referee, and Pepe’s accusation that his players dive, Vilanova was devastatingly clear: “Even though he said he didn’t want to talk about the referee, he did. Their second goal comes from a very clear foul on Iniesta. If we’re going to talk about the referees, let’s talk about it all, not about one specific play. Pepe? We should make a highlight reel of all of his kicks. What does Pepe have to say?”
Real Madrid – Jose Mourinh0:
“For me, the result reflects the match. I, as a coach, I enjoyed it, and I’m sure Vilanova and the players did too. I’ll take this outcome. It is a true reflection of the match overall. It was tightly fought and nobody knew what the outcome was going to be until the last minute. There were opportunities to score for both teams”.
Mourinho also responded to questions about the possible Özil penalty: “Real Madrid is a club of gentlemen you can’t speak about the referees. If there is a philosophy to follow then I have to adapt to it and in truth I like it. I’m happy because I like the club, the players, the city and the project. I arrived two years ago and there was a difference in the quality of football between Madrid and Barcelona and now, Barcelona have maintained the high level and both teams are equal. I want to keep going. There are things that can be improved on at Real Madrid, with José Mourinho and in the league. Real Madrid also think the same. I’ll take a great match and a good referee, who at one moment in the match made a key mistake, like the players and I also do sometimes”.
About Özil’s performance he said “He came off of the field because he was exhausted. To play against Barcelona you have to do a good job in midfield because if not it makes it impossible and the three in midfield had fantastic matches.” Finally he spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo’s and Messi’s chances in the fight for the Balon d’Or: “I do not want to worry too much about that. I think it should be forbidden to say who the best player in the world because these two are from another planet. I would like my player to win because he is champion of the best league in the world, but I think they’re both fantastic players”.