Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola not getting carried away by current run of success

The former B team boss acknowledges that the future appears to be bright for the Catalans but he is quick to point out that everything can change very quickly in football
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola insists that the youthful nature of his current squad offers no guarantee that the club’s remarkable run of success will continue for years to come.

While captain Carles Puyol and playmaker Xavi are both the wrong side of 30, the majority of the Catalans’ key performers are either in or approaching their prime.

In addition, on the evidence of last month’s 4-0 rout of BATE Borisov in the Champions League, a game in which Barca fielded a team with an average of just 23, a new batch of exciting youngsters are on their way.

However, Guardiola insists that staying at the top is even more difficult than getting there.

“In football a team’s success or failure hangs by a thread,” he told after being named Coach of the Year for 2011 in Zurich on Monday night.

“It might seem that because we’ve been successful in the past and we’re very young this is going to last, but you have to take things very carefully.

“It’s extremely difficult to build something good and strong, but letting it slide is much easier.”

Barca are currently in the midst of a fascinating battle to hold on to their Primera Division crown, with the Catalans now five points behind Real Madrid following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Espanyol.

And Guardiola admitted that everyone is intent on knocking the Catalans off their perch – and have been for some time.

“We didn’t need Sunday's game to know that the competition is ever more fierce,” the former Spain international said.

“But we’re going to keep trying, that’s the least we can do. I don’t know if we’ll keep winning, but I’m certain we won’t stop trying.”

Guardiola confessed that after a night in which he was named Coach of the Year and Lionel Messi claimed his third successive Ballon d’Or after being named in the Fifa/FifPro World XI alongside four of his team-mates, he hopes that there are more trophies to come for Barca.

“There’s a bit of cause-and-effect going on, because when you win titles, individual recognition comes hand in hand,” he mused.

“At the end of the day, we’re fortunate both because we’ve won these prizes and because we're happy to have received so much praise for the way we’ve played.

“We hope to stay on this path in order to live nights like this again.”

Guardiola has led Barcelona to 13 titles since taking charge of the club in the summer of 2008.

Starting in November and continuing through January, is publishing exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. Last Friday's extract took a closer look at the most influential figure in the club's history: Johan Cruyff: Don't miss it!