Barcelona will continue to be competitive under Vilanova, affirms Guardiola after beating Rayo Vallecano

The 41-year-old is confident that the good times will continue to roll at Camp Nou when he passes the reins onto his assistant, while he also commented on Sunday's resounding win
Pep Guardiola has assured Barcelona fans that the club will continue to enjoy success under coach in-elect Tito Vilanova next season after their 7-0 mauling of Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

The Blaugrana boss announced his decision to step down from his role at the end of the campaign with his assistant being immediately confirmed as his successor, and after the match against Rayo Vallecano, he stated his belief that the team will only realise their vast potential under his right-hand man.

"This team is young, Tito knows the players well and I'm confident that Barcelona will continue to be competitive [under him]," he told the press.

"I'm grateful for all the praise in response to my departure, although I didn't pass away. I'll still be around."

Guardiola then reacted to the goal celebration initiated by Thiago Alcantara and Dani Alves in the aftermath of the fifth goal scored by Barca, and apologised for the incident which some Rayo fans took offence to.

"We, as a club, apologise for the celebration, as it did not reflect the attitude of Barca players. It won't happen again," he said.

However, the former Spain midfielder ended on a positive note, as he was full of praise for second-string goalkeeper Jose Pinto and winger Pedro, who made an emphatic return to form with a double against the Liga strugglers, as well as a further two assists to his name.

"If Pinto doesn't get injured, he'll play in the Copa del Rey final," he continued. "He helped us to get to the final for the third time in four years."

"I am also very happy with Pedro's performance. He is one of my favourite players as we started out together in the fourth division."

Barcelona remain seven points behind Real Madrid at the Liga summit with three matches remaining.

After revamping our World Player of the Week feature, International is asking for your help to choose a worthy recipient of the weekly accolade. All you need to do is leave your nominations in the comments section of THIS article between 10.00 every Sunday and 11.00CET every Monday. Thanks!