Tito Vilanova has denied a rift between David Villa and Lionel Messi exists and also dispelled the notion that teams have worked out Barcelona’s style of play.
Coach Vilanova spent his pre-match Press conference ahead of a trip to Mallorca putting out fires that had been debated through the previous days.
First up was his view on the alleged difficult relationship between Messi and Villa, who were again picked up during the midweek defeat to Celtic arguing on the pitch.
“I do not see this, I know what they have. I know what I see is the relationship between them, which is normal,” Vilanova replied.
“They get along perfectly well, there is no need for a public demonstration of this. Things happen on the field for all teams. I understand that there is something that you want to search for, to scrape for. Keep going, maybe you will find something.”
Next up was Vilanova’s response to the debate that Celtic’s style of play is a sure sign of how to beat Barca.
“It would be worrying if we did not have the chances, as against Chelsea. In the final moments, we did have the chances.
“What you say about a plan B for us is something to be discussed when things like this happen. Barca are admired for maintaining their style, but that does not been we will not play long balls, I’ve never said that.
“What Celtic did many have done before. Occasionally it goes well, but most of the time it does not. When it goes well we talk about it but Barca have won 90 per cent or more of those games.”
The weekend sees the Catalans travel out to play Joaquin Caparros’ Mallorca.
“Whenever a team of Caparros’ plays against Barca in recent year it has been very clear. They will not allow us to have the ball easily.
“They will try to steal possession and seek out at spend to test our defence because they have quick people in attack.”
That defence, though, will not include Carles Puyol, even though he returned to training yesterday.
“In principle, Puyol does not travel, yesterday was his first workout. He is really good physically, because the injury has still allowed him to train, but it is too early to risk having contact.
“If he came to me and told me he is perfect and the physios say it is okay then I’ll take him. But he won’t go, I know the importance of Puyol.”