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Las Palmas manager talks Pedri, Joan Laporta, Barcelona stint: “Thanks to his decision I am here”

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Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Garcia Pimienta’s sacking from Barcelona came as an unexpected move for fans across the globe. The Spanish tactician was one of the longest-standing pillars of La Masia, after all, and the manager of Barcelona B as of June 2021.

The academy and subsidiary team unsurprisingly saw a relative dip in form after his dismissal two years ago, and the manager himself took it as an opportunity to build his own resume.

Pimienta signed for Las Palmas in January 2022 as the team’s head coach and helped them secure promotion to the first division after a gruelling end to the season.

His side are doing well in the first division this season as well, placing tenth on the league standings close to halfway through the season.

The current Las Palmas manager spoke to the media ahead of his first clash against his former club as a manager, beginning with a summary of what he expected to unfold on the night.

“It’s a special match because I was there for many years. I don’t know how I will feel. We prepared for the match knowing that we would be without the ball for a longer period.”

“It will be difficult for us, but we have to be brave and be champions. If we retreat, we will not achieve anything,” he added.

Elaborating on his game plan to out-prepare Xavi and outplay the Catalan giants at Gran Canaria, Pimienta insisted that he would ask his men to press high and in numbers.

“We will try to take the ball away from Barcelona. If they don’t have the ball, they suffer, and if they don’t have it, we suffer too. We have to play a perfect match. We are talking about one of the best teams in the world with a very clear idea for many years.”

“At the same time, when they are not playing well at all, they have the individual skills to solve things. They are favourites to win the Champions League, the League and the Cup,” he added on Barcelona’s individual brilliance.

The next topic the manager addressed had to do with his past at Barcelona and how difficult it was for him to be sacked from the club despite his positive run of results. His reply was as follows.

“A lot of time has passed since that moment. I have not contacted Laporta again because I want to thank him because thanks to his decision I am here.”

Barcelona and Las Palmas engaged in business in the summer transfer window over Julian Araujo, the young Mexican full-back who was said to be out of Xavi’s plans for the season.

The youngster, however, has been in tremendous form for his club this season but will be unavailable to play against his parent club.

“We can’t do anything, I feel sorry for the boy because he was looking forward to the game to show that he can play there,” Pimienta said about the player’s ‘fear clause’ that prevented him from playing.

Finally, the former La Masia coach spoke on Pedri’s absence on the night and how he felt about Barcelona’s arguably biggest player missing out on tomorrow’s game.

“It’s a shame because I would like all the players to be available, I really like Pedri because of the way he plays and I’m sure he would have been excited to play here. Injuries are affecting him a lot but he has a long way to go. I hope he recovers as soon as possible.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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