Barcelona coach Guardiola: We do not deserve to be 10 points behind Real Madrid

The Blaugrana trainer is adamant that his team should be closer to Real Madrid in the Liga standings, but urged his players to fight for the league title until the end
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola hailed his players as a credit to the game after Sunday night's 5-1 demolition of Valencia in La Liga, and argued that his side do not deserve to be 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid at this point in the season.

The Catalans, who have won 13 titles since Guardiola took charge in 2008, fell behind to an early goal from Pablo Piatti at Camp Nou but came storming back to win courtesy of four goals from Lionel Messi and one from Xavi.

Guardiola insisted after the game that this current Barca squad, who travelled to Japan in December to claim the Club World Cup, had again underlined why some pundits believe them to be the best side ever assembled.

“We played very well this evening," the former Spain international told reporters after the game. "We’re very happy with how things have gone and how we’ve played.

“We’re happy to have entertained the crowd. We’re happy that plenty of people have come to see us; let’s hope that they enjoyed it.

“I always think that we’re really lucky to have this generation of players. It’s a privilege to be able to enjoy them because they’re fantastic lads.

“We’re 10 points behind but, honestly, I don’t think we deserve to be 10 points behind the way we’ve played this season.

"There are many things that have happened that have resulted in us being this far behind and it will be difficult to make up those points.

"But we have to try during the three months that are left to come back and we have to try to compete - like we did today."

Guardiola added that he believes it is his players' drive and desire which sets them apart from the majority of their rivals.

“I know that in sport you have to test yourself every day; every moment," he mused. "And I don’t think there’s a greater example of that than these players.

"How many teams have won things and then not been able to follow it up the following season?

"It’s not the case for these lads. They’ve done it time and time again. And they’ve done it in style.

"I think that they’re a credit to the sport and I think we’re really lucky to be around at the same time as them and to be able to enjoy them on a daily basis.”

Barcelona return to La Liga action against Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon next weekend.

Since November, has been publishing exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. The very last extract, which was published last Friday, looks at Andres Iniesta's risky return from injury in the 2009 Champions League Final and how he was described by Wayne Rooney as the 'best midfielder in the world'. Don't miss it!