La Liga is priority for Barcelona

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Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola has stated that his club’s main priority this season is the retention of their domestic league title, rather than European glory.

Barca won both La Liga and the Champions League last term, but this time around Guardiola would settle for beating off the challenge of Real Madrid.

He said: “The main target this season is not to win the Champions League, but to retain the Liga title.

“I never discount anything, but it is clear that if we do not do well in domestic competition, we will not achieve much in Europe.

“The Liga is our main objective because I have demanded the maximum from my players in every match.

“If we are not able to maintain these levels throughout the season, things will get complicated.”

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi's Barca team-mate Pedro Rodriguez believes the Argentina international is better than Diego Maradona.

The 22-year-old has scored an astonishing 11 goals in his last five matches, grabbing a hat-trick in Sunday's 4-2 victory at Real Zaragoza.

Pedro was quoted in Marca as saying: "To me, Messi is better than Maradona. I play with him, I see him every day and to me he is the best.

"Maradona was the best player in history and, for me, Messi is even greater than he is. He is young, but has already won a lot of things.

"To me, he is better. We hope to keep giving him as much space as possible so that he can continue doing what he does.

"We are strong and playing very well, but Real Madrid will lose very few points until the end of the season.

"We have to make sure we concede as little as possible because it will be a very taxing battle until the very end. We must hope that they slip up."