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Feb 26, 2012

Guardiola: Barca won't win La Liga

Pep Guardiola concedes Barcelona are unlikely to defend their La Liga title, but insists the Catalan club "will fight until the end".

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Guardiola's men picked up a 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid on Sunday, only for Real Madrid to maintain their 10-point lead over Barca at the top of the table courtesy of a 1-0 triumph over Rayo Vallecano. Time is running out for Barca to cut the deficit and Guardiola admits the margin may be too great.

"I don't think we will win the league, but we will fight until the end," Guardiola said. "We have passed a difficult test against a very tough opponent [in Atletico]."

Lionel Messi's stunning free-kick nine minutes from time made the difference for Barca against Atletico, and the No. 10 also played a part as Dani Alves opened the scoring eight minutes before half-time. Guardiola praised the leadership and mental strength shown by his Argentinian playmaker in the win.

"A leader is he who steps forward when his team needs him and Leo [Messi] has been doing that for four years," Guardiola said.

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