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Guardiola offers sympathies to ´beautiful´ Barcelona

Guardiola offers sympathies to ´beautiful´ Barcelona

Pep Guardiola has paid tribute to the victims of the Barcelona attacks and says he is “very affected” by the events in his home city on Thursday.

Thirteen people died and more than 100 were injured when a van drove into pedestrians on the crowded Las Ramblas street, in an incident that local police are treating as an act of terrorism.

Five terror suspects were later killed in a police operation in Cambrils, a resort town roughly 100 kilometres from Barcelona, in a second vehicle attack in which one woman died.

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Guardiola came through Barcelona’s youth system to star in Johan Cruyff’s feted “Dream Team” before returning as head coach to lead an unprecedented spell of success at home and abroad between 2008 and 2012.

Now in charge of Manchester City, the 46-year-old offered a message of support during his Friday news conference to preview the Premier League game against Everton.

“My thoughts are for the people who died and are in difficult conditions,” he said.

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“It’s happened in France, in London – unfortunately it is happening everywhere.

“But Barcelona will wake up and will show again what a beautiful country it is – Catalonia and Spain – and all the best for the future.

“Obviously I am very affected by what happened so [that is] my best message for the families and the victims. Las Ramblas is a very important place in the history of Barcelona, so again my thoughts for the families.

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“I am sure the city and the country will stand up and move on. I just wish that it won’t happen in Barcelona or in the rest of the world.”

Barca will hold a special commemoration before their LaLiga meeting with Real Betis at Camp Nou on Sunday, while the Royal Spanish Football Federation has suggested that a minute’s silence is held prior to all fixtures in Spain’s top two divisions this weekend.

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