Madrid: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola used his pre-game press conference to deny rumours of a rift between strikers David Villa and Lionel Messi.
The Valencia-based paper "Superdeporte" published this week that the pair had a very poor relationship, a story that is given some credence by the fact that Villa joined Barcelona from Valencia a year and a half ago and still has plenty of contacts in the city.
Guardiola, however, dismissed the story. "It is impossible to be an enemy of David, he is too nice a person. He is generous both in the way he plays football and also in his personal life. It is impossible not to get on well with him," said Guardiola, who also had to answer accusations from former Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich that he was "scared" of Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.