Football

Guardiola wants 'world's best' honour

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Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has urged his players to seize the chance to become recognised as the world's best team.

The La Liga and European champions claimed the trophy in 2009, and have the chance to advance to the final of the competition tomorrow when they face Al Sadd in Japan.

With a possible clash against South American giants Santos around the corner, Guardiola is eager for his side to take the chance to win another trophy, although expects admits their semi-final opponents are capable of causing a surprise.

"I told my players not to miss out on the chance to win this tournament as the opportunity to do so doesn't come around very often," said Guardiola ahead of Thursday's clash in Yokohama.

"We are playing for the chance to become the best side in the world but we won't be recognised as such until we win the cup" and we have a responsibility to show our best here."

Carles Puyol was in full agreement with his manager, insisting the players will not be taking the challenge lightly following Saturday's El Clasico win against Real Madrid.

The Catalan club claimed a 3-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, but have immediately turned their focus onto the challenges ahead in Asia.

"If Al-Sadd have reached the last four it's because they are a good team. We have come here full of hope and expectation but we know that the opposition will make things very difficult for us," said the veteran Spanish international.

Defensive colleague Gerard Pique was also stressing the importance of winning trophies ahead of tomorrow's clash, and is hoping to add another piece of silverware to the bulging trophy cabinet at the Camp Nou.

"People can say that you play good football but you go down in history because of the titles you've won," said Pique.

"We're not used to the time difference or enduring such a long trip to Japan and we don't know too much about the teams appearing here but we are doing things well and training more and more as the semi-final approaches."

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