NEWS
Friday October 19 2012
Tito: Spanish champs? We're world champs

Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has responded to the jibe aimed at the Catalan club by Real Madrid counterpart Jose Mourinho.

In an interview with France Football published today Mourinho pointed out that Real are Spanish champions, Chelsea European champions, and Barca “neither one nor the other.”

“Chelsea are European champions, Real Madrid are Spanish champions, and Barcelona are world champions,” Vilanova quipped, alluding to the Club World Cup in the Camp Nou trophy cabinet.

The tactician then turned to the other bone of contention between the clubs, the ongoing saga pertaining to whether or not Barca have compiled videos of fouls committed on their players by Real defender Pepe.

“There is no video. We limit ourselves to our games and don't worry about other players. It's a lie. The thing is that with 15 days without football, people get to make a lot of comments.”

Barca are away to Deportivo La Coruna tomorrow, but defender Gerard Pique won' feature.

“There are no easy games in La Liga. Moreover, it has never been easy to play at Riazor.

“Pique is not 100 per cent and we won't risk him. He will return when the doctors say he can play.

“Marc Bartra will have minutes, but it doesn't do the player any good talking about it, it adds pressure.

“David Villa is returning from a long injury. He is better every day, and aware he will come into the team slowly.”

The former assistant to Pep Guardiola denied that the Blaugrana are now more direct than they were under Guardiola.

“I don't see much difference. We had over 60 per cent possession against Real and in the Champions League matches. I think its more than enough, though its clear we can improve.”

Vilanova closed by making it clear that he considers Atletico Madrid title contenders, and looking at the changes made at the famous La Masia academy.

“I've said it before, nobody can say only Madrid or Barca will win the league. Atletico are a team competing in Europe and a candidate in Spain. [Diego] Simeone has made them a very compact block.

“The first year in the new facility has been very positive. We have great memories of the old farmhouse, but the change has seen a big improvement.”

Football Italia website