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Feb 8, 2012

Pep thrilled to reach final

Pep Guardiola has spoken of his excitement after setting up a Copa del Rey final meeting with Athletic Bilbao and hit back at the critics who suggested the team was losing motivation.

• Barcelona 2-0 Valencia

Barcelona beat Valencia 2-0 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday courtesy of goals from Cesc Fabregas and Xavi, giving them a 3-1 aggregate victory.

They will now meet Athletic - 23-time winners of the competition - in the final, and Guardiola is hoping Barca can add to their 25 successes.

"We are excited to be back in another cup final," Guardiola said. "It's a very prestigious competition and we are looking forward to it.

"It'll be a final between the two best Spanish cup teams in history. I think it will be a fascinating final."

There had been suggestions that Barcelona - having been so dominant since Guardiola took charge in 2008 - may finally be showing signs that they are taking their foot off the gas.

However, Guardiola said: "It's our third final in four years. When people find themselves tempted to say we are relaxing, they should count to four before writing."

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