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May 27, 2011

Guardiola: We are not the best ever

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola played down suggestions that his side are the best team ever, as they prepare to face Manchester Untied in the final of the Champions League.

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Guardiola led Barcelona to an unprecedented six trophies in his first season in 2008-09, including a Champions League victory courtesy of a 2-0 win over United in Rome. He has since taken the side to two other La Liga crowns and could claim Barca's third European trophy in six years if he can emerge triumphant from Wembley.

But, when asked if the current Barcelona side are the best ever, Guardiola said: "I don't think so. When the people are watching this team if they enjoy we are happy, but we have to respect Brazil, Milan, Liverpool, Manchester or even Madrid for the best moments.

"It is difficult to compare, it is for example to say who is better - Pele, Maradona, Messi or Beckenbauer, all these kind of players in the right moment help to make football better than before.

"What would we like, in the coming 10-15 years people remember that in that time Barcelona played good football and we enjoyed that time when we saw that would be the best thing, but to say right now is impossible."

He added: "I think Manchester United in the last 10, 15, 20 years is always at the top, always compete very well in the Premier League and they have three times out of the last four years in the final of the Champions League.

"When I saw the Manchester United team two years ago my view, my impression, was it was a strong, strong team.

"From two years ago and the last four or five games, and the many games I have seen they are strong, they are competitive, each player knows what they have to do. It is an honour to play in the Champions League against Manchester United."

Pep Guardiola also said he believes his side and opponents United have a responsibility to live up to the ''final of the decade'' billing.

''We have to show tomorrow both teams playing football,'' he said. ''We have the audience of the world and we have to show we deserve this credit of 'the final of the decade'.

''When you play in a final and both teams want to win and both want to play, for the rest of the world it will be a good final. They have their strength, we have our skill, and we have to see who controls the situation best.''

The one unknown quantity from a Barca point of view will be United sensation Javier Hernandez, who has been arguably the signing of the season.

Guardiola said: ''He's a huge surprise, he's amazing. He's amazing when arriving in the area. He has incredible movement without the ball. Manchester United have bought an enormous young talent. I am convinced that he will be an important player for the next few years at United.''

United have arrived at Wembley despite being branded less than vintage but Guardiola was not buying that and insisted their history had helped create a special club.

''From Matt Busby to Sir Alex Ferguson, they've gone through everything, through plane accidents in Munich,'' he said. ''When you're lucky enough to play against rivals like Manchester, the only thing you can feel is satisfied and very fortunate.

''To be sitting near Sir Alex Ferguson is an honour. So we'll try to enjoy it, enjoy the show and compete, play as well as we can.''

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