Barcelona will play their natural game and not curb their attacking instincts in Wednesday’s Champions League final against Manchester United, according to coach Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola’s prolific side have already won La Liga and the Copa del Rey and can add the European title to their haul in his first season in charge with victory in Rome, which would be the first treble by a Spanish club.
They have netted 30 goals in 12 matches since the group stage of this year’s Champions League and Guardiola said Barca had no intention of adopting a more defensive approach against the Premier League champions.
“I want the players to feel good, to feel beautiful, like they are playing in front of the whole world,” the 38-year-old said at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. “I want them to be daring and I want to show the world how good we are. That’s our attitude,” he added. “In finals there is always an element that it’s all or nothing. You might be afraid to play but this is something we have to leave in the dressing room. I would not like to come away thinking we could have done it differently. We are going out there to play our way, to play the ball.”
Guardiola cautioned that while the season had gone extremely well so far it could all end badly on Wednesday.
“It’s also possible that we’ll play poorly and we’ll be totally overrun by Manchester United,” he said. “We cannot deny that it has been a fantastic season but it could still finish badly. In football things can change very suddenly and the small things can change your life. We have had a good season but there’s still a lot to do.”
He played down his importance in Barca’s success.
“The football is for the players. That’s the most important thing. I shout and nobody listens to me,” he said. “I will try to focus on the first half and remain calm. Then I’ll give the team the most important words for the second half and try to win.”
Asked about the much anticipated showdown between Barca’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi and United’s Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo, he said:
“For me, never mind the opinion about Ronaldo and Messi. Both are marvellous players. Messi I am sure is going to play a good game if we get our tactics right. The most important thing is we’re going to try to play a good game.”