MADRID - Pep Guardiola struck a starkly
downbeat note on Tuesday when he warned euphoric Barcelona fans
against underestimating their team's Champions League
quarter-final opponents Shakhtar Donetsk.
The La Liga leaders moved a step closer to retaining their
title on the weekend when they won at Villarreal and rivals Real
Madrid slipped up at home to Sporting Gijon, to leave the
Catalans eight points clear at the top with eight games left.
Guardiola's side are on course for a treble as they lead La
Liga, have a King's Cup final in two weeks' time and are one of
the favourites in Europe's elite club competition.
"There isn´t much talk about Shakhtar and they say the
league is won," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of the
first leg at the Nou Camp.
"The sensations I have aren´t good."
The Ukrainians, who are in the quarter-finals for the first
time, had one of the best records in the group stage.
They ran Barca close in the European Super Cup in 2009 and
stole a 3-2 win at the Nou Camp the last time they met in the
Champions League group stages late in 2008.
"We have to play a good game or the tie will get
complicated," Guardiola added.
"I've told the players we have to be focused because it
would be dangerous to have to settle the tie over there.
"They are a great team, a super team that is very
aggressive. They defend very well and they work like animals.
They finished above Arsenal in their group."
Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu told an earlier news
conference he believed the current Barca side were "the best
team in the history of football" but noted that his club had
developed rapidly in recent seasons.
"Shakhtar is the team that has progressed the most," the
"We won the UEFA Cup a few years ago (2009) against a great
club like Werder Bremen and now we are trying to consolidate in
the Champions League," he added.
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
"Get on the weights," says expert
It's all about the legacy, says Sepp
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010