Barcelona boss Vilanova hails Real Madrid chief Valdano for Guardiola comments

The Barca boss also revealed why midfielder Andres Iniesta started last weekend's La Liga tie on the bench, and gave an update on skipper Carles Puyol's battle for fitness
Barcelona head coach Tito Vilanova has voiced his admiration towards former Real Madrid director Jorge Valdano, following his praise for Pep Guardiola.

The los Blancos chief had recently hailed the football philosophy of the former Barca boss, comparing his innovative approach to the sport with the achievements of the late head of technology industry giant Apple, Steve Jobs.

"I loved what Valdano says. He's got a way of understanding football that I like," he told reporters.

"Even though he's a Madridista, I'm sure he likes Barcelona's style because he identifies with it."

He then addressed the situation regarding Andres Iniesta, who watched his side's last Sunday win at Mallorca from the bench.

He continued: "In the midfield we've got a lot of good players. The reason why Iniesta is not playing right now is because we want him in his best shape when the big games come."

The coach gave an update on the possible appearance of defender Carles Puyol in this weekend's encounter.

"He's been training for a few days with the rest and he's lacking match fitness. However, his injury being an elbow one, he hasn't stopped playing as much and that's good.

"The normal thing would be that he gets the medical release. If it is that way, he'll get in [Saturday's] team and, therefore, can play like anyone else," he added.

Barcelona meet Real Zaragoza on Saturday at Camp Nou, with kick-off at 20:00 CET.