La Liga: Hope to win everything, says Barca's new coach Vilanova

Madrid: The coach has changed but not the philosophy, new Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova said on Saturday as he set out a plan to "win everything" ahead of his La Liga baptism against Real Sociedad.

The 42-year-old stepped up from assistant to replace Pep Guardiola in the close season, taking over from his close friend who won 14 trophies in his four seasons in charge at the Nou Camp.

"I hope to win everything," Vilanova told a news conference as he prepared for Sunday's home game with Sociedad (1900 GMT). "We have a team capable of winning any game.

"Barcelona are a side who, particularly in recent years, have become used to winning everything."

Vilanova played a part in the successes of the Guardiola era, the club claiming two Champions League and three La Liga titles playing an attractive brand of attacking soccer.

"We will try to have continuity in the way we play which is what I think the people really want," he added.

"(The only change) is the person transmitting the message, not the philosophy."

Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa is still short of match fitness as he continues his recovery from the broken leg he suffered in December.

"He has been out for eight months and ... just needs to get fit," said Vilanova. "We will try to keep giving him minutes on the pitch until then."

New Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova. Reuters

Barca also meet arch-rivals and La Liga champions Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup first leg at the Nou Camp on Thursday.

Real were Europe's number one team last season: Mourinho

Madrid: Real Madrid were the best team in Europe last season and it is going to be tough to match their record-breaking achievements this time round, coach Jose Mourinho said on Saturday.

The club accumulated an unprecedented 100 points, scoring 121 goals, to win La Liga for the first time in four years in May and they begin the defence of their title at home to Valencia on Sunday (1700 GMT).

"We aren't looking to beat records, only to be champions," Mourinho told a news conference. "Every season is different and the important thing is always to be ambitious.

"The team has reached a good level and it was the best team in Europe last season."

Real ended Barcelona's three-year reign as champions to secure their 32nd league title but the trophy they really crave is the Champions League, won by Mourinho's old club Chelsea in May.

Last season, for the second year in a row, Real made it to the semi-finals where they suffered an agonising penalty shootout defeat at the Bernabeu to Bayern Munich.

"We won the most difficult La Liga with unparalled figures and a fantastic standard of play," Portuguese Mourinho added.

"We know what we can do and we are going to try and maintain the levels of play, the team spirit and the levels of ambition. If we do this we will be candidates to win all the competitions."

Turkey playmaker Nuri Sahin, who rarely featured in an injury-blighted season after joining from Borussia Dortmund a year ago, is set to leave Real on loan.

"The most important thing is that he is happy," Mourinho said. "The best for him and for Madrid is that he goes out on loan.

"Madrid don't want to sell him. He needs to play and to prove himself."

Visiting Valencia are a changed side under new coach Mauricio Pellegrino. They finished third last season, 39 points adrift of Real.


Updated Date: Aug 19, 2012 09:45 AM

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