Monday 23 April 2018

'It's really important for us to stick together' - Guardiola, Pochettino and Benitez pay tribute to Barcelona victims

Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the pre-season friendly match between Girona and Manchester City at Municipal de Montilivi Stadium on August 15, 2017 in Girona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the pre-season friendly match between Girona and Manchester City at Municipal de Montilivi Stadium on August 15, 2017 in Girona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Former Barcelona captain and coach Pep Guardiola has spoken of his sorrow following Thursday's terrorist attack in his home city.

Fourteen people died and dozens were injured when two vehicles ploughed into pedestrians in Barcelona's busy tourist area of Las Ramblas and the nearby seaside town of Cambrils.

Guardiola is now manager at Manchester City but he remains synonymous with Barcelona, having enjoyed a glittering playing and coaching career at the Nou Camp.

Speaking at a press conference in Manchester, the 46-year-old said: "Obviously I am affected by what happened. Las Ramblas is an important place in the history of Barcelona.

"My thoughts are for the families and victims of the tragedy. I am sure the city and country will stand up and move on. I just wish it doesn't happen again in Barcelona or in the whole world."

Barcelona's players and coaching staff held a minute's silence before training on Friday in tribute to the victims of the atrocity.

Barca tweeted a short video of their tribute, during which their personnel stood in a semi-circle on the training field, along with the TotsSomBarcelona (we are all Barcelona) hashtag.

The club had already confirmed that players of all their teams would wear black armbands during games this weekend - the senior side begin their LaLiga campaign against Real Betis at the Nou Camp on Sunday - while a minute's silence will be held at matches across Spain.

Barcelona-based Espanyol also published photographs of their squad linking arms in a circle to pay their respects.

Other clubs have also paid tribute. Spanish and European champions Real Madrid tweeted a picture of their first-team squad holding a minute's silence at their training base, with the likes of newly promoted Catalan club Girona, Granada, Levante and Real Mallorca posting similar images of their players and staff.

Barca club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and directors Pau Vilanova and Maria Teixidor were among the thousands of people who attended a minute's silence observed at 11am in the city's Placa Catalunya, close to the scene of the attack. Spain's King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy were also in attendance.

A minute's silence was also held prior to the start of play at Edgbaston in the second Test between England and the West Indies.

Super League club Leigh, who play at Catalans Dragons this weekend, urged travelling supporters to "please remain vigilant and stay safe" via a Twitter message.

Travelling via Barcelona is popular with Super League supporters travelling to the Perpignan-based Dragons.

The city of Barcelona is also close to the heart of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and he echoed Guardiola's sentiments.

The Argentinian played over 250 games for Espanyol over three separate spells and started his coaching career at the Barcelona-based club in 2009.

He said: "I would like to send my solidarity and my support for the victims of the tragic event in Barcelona, my city.

"I am sad and want to send my best wishes and support to everyone."

The city of Barcelona is also close to the heart of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and he echoed Guardiola's sentiments.

The Argentinian played over 250 games for Espanyol over three separate spells and started his coaching career at the Barcelona-based club in 2009.

He said: "I would like to send my solidarity and my support for the victims of the tragic event in Barcelona, my city.

"I am sad and want to send my best wishes and support to everyone."

Press Association

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