Barcelona boss Martino targets Guardiola's trophy haul

Barcelona will make it 21 games without defeat if they claim a positive result against Ajax on Tuesday, but their Argentine coach is solely driven by winning silverware

Gerardo Martino says he is more interested in matching Pep Guardiola’s trophy haul at Barcelona than the Spaniard’s record of unbeaten games.

The Blaugrana will equal a club-record run of 21 games without defeat should they secure a positive result against Ajax in Tuesday’s Champions League clash in Amsterdam.

However, as far as Martino is concerned, the only thing that matters is silverware.

“I would prefer to equal the mark of six trophies with Barcelona [in 2009]. The [unbeaten] record doesn’t mean anything,” the Argentine coach told a press conference on Monda.

“It’s not easy for me to make a comparison because I only saw the old Barca on TV. We must keep winning as we have done so far and continue the excellence this club has had.”

Midfielder Xavi is in line to make his return to action on Tuesday but Martino admitted he is eager to get all his top players fit again, including Lionel Messi.

“For us to continue at a high level of beauty we need everyone, not only Xavi. We need Jordi [Alba], Messi, everyone,” the former Newell’s Old Boys boss confessed.

“We lost the best player in the world with Leo’s injury, which always makes things difficult. But with the richness of the Barcelona squad and the players who are able to play [on Tuesday], we’re in a position to win.”

Martino went on to pay tribute to Ajax, praising the impact of Dutch football on the history of Barcelona.

“I have always considered Ajax as a great team who know what they need to do on the pitch,” he enthused.

“They are technically skilled and they know how to play. I know that we are going to face a difficult opponent and I am convinced that they can come second in the group.

“When I walk through the halls I see the photos of the people who are responsible for the style of Barcelona. Many Dutch players, and also Ajax players, have certainly been very important for the style of Barcelona.

“If I have learned anything from my coaches, it’s that the next game is the most important. The next game is the one that gives you confidence or gets you into trouble.

“Our intention is to win, no matter what match Barcelona plays in, if it is at home, away, against whatever opponent, Barcelona always plays to win. We want to play beautiful football; we are committed to that.

“We do not want just to win, but we will continue work to win every match with beautiful football.”

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