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Guardiola: Barcelona triumph for Maldini

Classy Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola dedicated their Champions League triumph to Paolo Maldini last night. The Spaniard paid tribute to Maldini, whose farewell to the San Siro last weekend was marred when fans claimed he was a traitor to their cause.

Guardiola, who faced Maldini many times when he was at Roma and Brescia, added: "He is a true great of the game and what happened to him by 20, 30 or 40 supporters was wrong. I dedicated this triumph to him."

Guardiola, who has been in the job only a year after replacing Frank Rijkaard, said: "Next season we want to be back in the final playing a different team. What is so rewarding is that we have done it playing a certain way and we have never deviated from that. We were not cowards against United. I told the players that they could not be afraid of the world champions. We stood up to them.

"The stadium at Manchester United is called the Theatre of Dreams, so I think we can have a little prestige considering we have just beaten the best team in the world.

"They are a great team but they just had a bad day and we took advantage of that. We have given the Catalan people exactly what they wanted and now we can celebrate with our people.

"We can enjoy it for a few days and we will, but we are getting close to some great names in European competition now. We have to match them."

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Tribal Football Staff

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