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Pep is certainly pleased to have won Europe's top club prize and has made an unexpected dedication to Calcio...

Barcelona defeated Manchester United 2-0 in the Champions League final in Rome on Wednesday. After the match, Blaugrana boss Pep Guardiola spoke about his delight at winning the trophy.

One of the first things he mentioned was the host city and a specific issue affecting Italian football at the moment; the retirement of defender Paolo Maldini.

"I dedicate this to Italian football and Paolo Maldini, who need not worry because he has the admiration of all of Europe," the victorious boss told RAI Sport.

The Milan captain was insulted by some Rossoneri fans during his final match at San Siro this past weekend, something that reportedly angered the former Italian international, who is on the verge of ending his 24 year career.

Guardiola knows Maldini from his playing days in Italy, where he had stints with both Brescia and Roma in the early part of the decade.

"I'm experiencing a great joy, it's been a pleasure to win it in Roma, a hug to all Italians," he added.

Meanwhile, in his extended post-match reaction to uefa.com, he elaborated, "I'm leaving straight away tomorrow. I can't do anything else to top this.

"We're aware that we've done something magnificent. I'd like to congratulate the whole club and the fans. We're not the best team in Barca history but we've played the best season.

"We've won three titles but it's also about how we've won them. As a player, it was great to win this trophy for the first time. Now, we have won three which isn't as many as other clubs but we're getting closer to a select group of mythical teams," he beamed.

Finally, he gave a brief assessment of how his Catalan superstars managed to overcome the Red Devils.

"We scored with our first chance and after that, we just tried to move the ball inside," he divulged.

"We noticed that in the semi-final last year, Messi had problems with [Patrice] Evra, so we decided to move Leo from out wide to have one more player in midfield.

"He's the best right now and he has written his name on the Ballon d'Or. Messi has real talent and will never hide. When the going gets tough, he really starts moving," he concluded.

Adam Scime, Goal.com

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