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Vilanova: "Guinness recognises Messi's record"

"The 88 goals are there for all to see, let's see the next one try," the Barça coach said. "Whether Villa plays or not against Atlético has no bearing on how highly we rate him."


Vilanova: "Guinness recognises Messi's record"

In the pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Atlético Madrid, Tito Vilanova spoke about: Falcao, Atlético, Messi's record and Villa, among other relevant issues.

A big rival: "Any other year Atlético would be leaders; any other championship they would also be leaders. If we hadn't picked up so many points they would definitely at the top of the table right now. It's true that Atlético are just behind us and it is an important game, but so are they all. They've been playing really well and we know tomorrow's game will be far from easy. Playing at their ground is always tough and here it's no different. As I've said before, the matches they've dropped points in have been at grounds where it's very easy to lose. I respect everything they've done since Simeone arrived at the end of last season and the beginning of this one. They currently believe in themselves and each other, the most important thing in a team."

Simeone's call for Vilanova to gain some recognition: "I haven't heard exactly what he said but I appreciate it. Taking over at a club halfway through a season and changing the dynamic is hard, but Simeone managed it and you can see that through their results in the La Liga and the Europa League. Atlético have belief, which is really important. Whether or not people appreciate what I'm doing doesn't really bother me."

Villa and the less important games: "For starters, at this club there are no games that are less important. All of them are big matches. This game won't decide our opinion of David; he's recovered well from injury and that's what matters. If he's played less it's because he had a serious injury and needed time to recover. Alexis, who is still very young, is good at finding space, while David probably scores more goals. But when we signed Alexis we knew it was because we needed more depth, players that looked to find space."

Iniesta's position: "It's true that Andrés does adapt well to both positions, he always has done. We can't think that other players can always do what Cesc has done, but obviously Andrés is such a talented player that he plays well in any position."

Messi's record and FIFA's recognition of it: "It's been recognised by Guinness World Records, has it not? His goals are there for all to see and I've been lucky enough to witness nearly all of them. Let's see the next one try."

Falcao: "One player can't always do everything. They have a lot of good players that believe in the way they play. The further away from goal we keep Falcao and the majority of forwards we come up against, the better."

Atlético 'doing a Celtic'?: "They know exactly how they have to play and you can see how they approach games. The players believe in themselves and each other and have Falcao as their talisman because he's in such a rich vein of form. You also have the likes of Diego Costa, Adrián, a midfield with an attacking threat."

Dressing rooms: "I don't know what happens in Madrid's or any other dressing room, I'm more worried about my own one. My philosophy is live and let live. I don't have any policy in the dressing room, they can say what they like, we're all grownups."

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