Pinto desperate to give Guardiola winning send-off in Copa del Rey final

The 36-year-old goalkeeper is likely to start against Athletic Bilbao and wants to play his part in what would be the outgoing coach's 14th title since taking charge in 2008
Jose Manuel Pinto is desperate for Pep Guardiola's reign as Barcelona boss to end on a high in Friday's Copa del Rey final.

The veteran goalkeeper feels an enormous debt of gratitude to the outgoing Blaugrana coach and is praying that the Catalans can give the 41-year-old the send-off he deserves by overcoming Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderon.

"[His departure] is difficult to define, as we do not want to see him leave," Pinto told Barca TV. "His last game is going to be a little sad, so we'll try to win so that sadness becomes joy and he can have a happy farewell."

Pinto revealed that he is on course to be fit to start in the Spanish capital after overcoming his recent ankle knock, and admitted that he can only thank Guardiola for standing by him during some difficult moments during his Barca career.

"I will always appreciate the confidence he has given me," the 36-year-old stated. "He always trusted me 100 per cent and I have always tried to repay that trust, both in training and on the field of play."

The Copa del Rey final is scheduled to get under way at 22.00CET.