"I always overthink..." - Pep Guardiola and Bernardo Silva pre Atletico Madrid Press Conference
Pep Guardiola and Bernardo Silva speak ahead of the Champions League first leg against Atletico Madrid at the quarter final stage. A rather fascinating press conference with Pep and Bernardo appearing incredibly upbeat and producing some fascinatingly insightful answers.
"In the Champions League always I overthink. New tactics, tomorrow you will see a new one. I over think a lot, that's why I have very good results in the Champions League. Would be boring if I always played the same way. If people think I play the same against Atletico and Liverpool, I don't like. The movements are different, the players are all different with different personalities. That's why I overthink and create stupid tactics. Tonight I take an inspiration and I'm going to do incredible tactics tomorrow. We play with 12 tomorrow!"
"Every opponent is tough in this stage. Every team has a particular way to play. You have to adapt and adjust."
"If you don't play these games you're out of the competitions. It's a joy to be here every season. To arrive every season, April, May to fight for titles we've done really well. Bad results now and you're out of competitions."
"Very often we [Diego Simeone] don't play in the same country and Champions League just once. After watching Atletico Madrid there is a misconception, wrong, about the way he plays. It's more offensive than people believe. He doesn't want to take a risk in the build up but they have quality in the final third. When the ball is in our halfway, how competitive they are, depends on the position and movement, they know exactly how to play. In the moments of the game, these situations they are really good."
"I'm not going to talk one second about this stupid debate [negative tactics]. Everyone tries to win the game. If they win they are right, if we win we are right. It's for the players, the difference will be there. Honestly, not one second."
"We have to do the same [dark arts like Atletico], defend our position. It's part of the game. Southampton in the cup when we concede we played terrible. I'm not going to judge what they do, analyse what to do to get a good result to go to Madrid next week. What is playing ugly? My team won in Old Trafford 1-0 and Bernardo Silva spend five minutes in the corner, that is not ugly. It's defending the position. I'm here to talk about what we try to do, I never judge the opponents. What they do, what we have to do to win."
"We were out three times on away goals. Unfortunately now it changes, influence is less. We are going to play to win, high intensity to create chances and in Madrid the same. We are going to have success or go out. We adapt to the rules, all the time we've tried to win. When you are out because they score away you can't score. 5-5 you are out because they score three and you score one. Always, 'oh my god', a pity. Now it's not a debate. Try to play the game best as possible."
"As a team they avoid risk in the build up centrally. Those balls are incredibly aggressive, they win the ball and pay. The quality of players upfront, they can do it. One game here, one game there. Champions of Spain, the last 20 years, the most teams win the Champions League. That league is so difficult and they are champions. I admire the consistency, been twice to Barcelona and Real Madrid, they fight and reach 2 finals. Losing one corner before extra time and another extra time. They know how to handle this competition. When I start in Barcelona it was different, now you arrive the last eight all teams are incredibly tough. It's a football game, give everything we have and after in Madrid will dictate who goes through."
"It surprised me a lot Bernardo said we have a plan because we didn't speak about it! I have a plan in my mind. In this competition I learn the plan is important, don't give an inch and defend when you have to defend. Attack when you can do it. I trust a lot in this competition the characters, the courage. I put a lot of pressure on these games, outside I take responsibility but don't put responsibility on my shoulders, you are the ones who have to go and win. They have done it many times and hopefully tomorrow as well."
"We have experience but you can have a thousand experiences, you have to take it. Maybe we take a wrong decision tomorrow because football is so quick and we don't learn from it. We tried, the desire is there, we try to do well and go through. Tomorrow is not decisive, we have another game to play. We try to go to Madrid [in the second leg] with as good a result as possible."
Now onto Bernardo Silva:
"It's something we don't control [Atleti's game management] the best we can do is do our game at a high level and beat them on the pitch. The rest is up to the referees..."
"Very honest answer, we don't know what to expect [from Atletico], if they press high, go low and wait for us. We know they will be aggressive, not give us space. It will be tight, won't be an open game. Little details will be important in these games. We don't expect an open game, no."
"I had it before in Monaco, even at Benfica in the academy. Knowing that talent is important, but if you don't work hard it makes it difficult to succeed. I've always tried to have both sides of the game in my game. With Pep, when you see your teammates like mine do, when I look around and see everyone pressing, I can only do what they do."
"Maybe their style of play might be similar to some teams in England. It's a team with some of the best players in the world. It's no comparable. Club teams in England, most or all don't play like Atletico which makes the game different. Very competitive, organised, with a specific style of play. It wasn't easy for United, Liverpool two years ago. It won't be easy for us but if we follow Pep's plan it will work out.
"It's not just another game, it's a very important game for us, it's a competition that maybe just Scott Carson won. Pep [Guardiola]as well but the club has never won it. Most of us have never won it. We really want to do it. Over the years we weren't able to do it, it is the only one missing and we want to go for it again. The pressure is always there and we know these fans always expect us to perform well in this competition and we're going to try our best to make our fans happy and proud of us."
"In a way, of course yes [annoying not winning the Champions League] because we know how important this competition is. It's where the best clubs in Europe play. We really want to do it. We weren't able to do it in the past years. The best we can do is try harder and harder and this year we're going to try very hard."
"It's definitely a goal [to win the Champions League]. It's a thing that we really want to achieve if we are going to achieve - nobody knows. The only thing we can promise to our fans and the club is we're going to do our best and try as hard as we can to achieve that. Of course it is something that we really want. There is nothing more we can do apart from being our best and working hard every day, helping each other to win as many titles as possible."
"Rodri this year has been at an unbelievable level he has helped us a great deal. The growth that you're talking about is normal. When someone gets to a new club, you have to adapt, you have to know your teammates to know the new way of playing that the manager wants to instil and Rodri last year was a lot better than when he came first time and this year he has been playing at an unbelievable level. I'm really happy for him because he's also a friend of mine, and it is fantastic for the team to have a player like him."
"It's difficult to say who are the favourites in this competition. Look at the last few years we were favourites against Chelsea and we lost. We were favourites against Tottenham and we lost. When we played against Lyon, we were beaten. It's not easy. It's a team that is so used to playing these types of games. They've been to two Champions League finals in the last few years, they're always there in the quarter-finals and semi-finals so I don't think there are any favourites in this game."
"I don't' think it is anxiety [in the Champions League] but pressure. Pressure to win is nice because it means you're in a great club fighting for everything. It is pressure that we want because we want to win those competitions. Atletico are a great side also, I'm sure they have that same thing. There is lots of pressure from the fans to continue to win. They are the champions of Spain and they also have to do well in the Champions League. There is lots of pressure on both sides but we are players used to this pressure and we will manage it really well."
Written by: @coIgcra
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