Guardiola talks up Thiago, coy on Cesc

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has sung the praises of 20-year-old Thiago Alcantara after his double against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.The Italian-born Spaniard bagged a double in Barca’s 2-0 Audi Cup final win, with his second goal particularly catching the eye.

His stellar performance at Munich’s Allianz Arena led to some kind words from Guardiola, who feels Barcelona are ‘lucky’ to have him.

“He is an extraordinary guy, he is very competitive and as you have seen he plays very good football,” Guardiola said.

“For this reason we decided to take him out of the juniors and play him in the first team.”

“He’s a kid that loves to play and wants to have a career in this sport and we are fortunate to have another player from our juniors. He was brilliant not only for the goals but also for his defensive play. We are very lucky to have this player.”

Guardiola was pleased to have won the pre-season tournament as the Catalan giants claimed another trophy to add to an already packed cabinet.

“We have won a prestigious tournament against a great Brazilian team (Internacional) as well as two of the best teams in the world and Europe – Milan and Bayern Munich,” he said.

“Basically we competed very well. We did everything – we maintained a good level, we competed well and everyone gave a helping hand to the youth players.”

But Guardiola refused to be drawn into discussions on how good his side would be if they signed Cesc Fabregas, insisting that he was not involved in the negotiations.

“Fabregas is a player of Arsenal. Many clubs would like to have him since he is a very good player, but he is an Arsenal player. This is a task for the people dealing with negotiations, it is not up to me. I only know he is a player of Arsenal, nothing else.”