The FC Barcelona manager praised his players for how they aproached the match against Cartagena
Tata Martino explained the team’s Christmas schedule after this evening’s match. After the league game on Sunday away to Getafe, the players will enjoy some much needed rest. The players that live in Spain will return to work on December 30, with the exception of the players who have been called up to the Catalan national team. The rest of the players will join the team on January 2.
Barça comfortably defeated Cartagena in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey. Despite the positive result from the first leg of the tie, Martino considers that his men approached tonight’s match with the right mentality: “We didn’t play perfectly but our mentality was correct. The most positive thing is that we were serious in our approach to the game. We respected our rival and the fans that came to watch the match.”
When asked why no Barça B players were named to the team, he said, “I have footballers like Song, Sergi Roberto, Tello or Adriano that had to play the 90 minutes. Neymar, also, because he will go to Brazil this Thursday where he’ll have 10 days of rest.” The Brazilian forward will miss Barça’s next game in the league due to suspension and, therefore, will get an additional three days of vacation. “He’s practically had no rest for months. He’s adapted well to the Club and he knows the role he has to play. He’s very loved by everyone,” said Martino.
Optimistic about the future
Barça will take on Getafe in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey in January. When asked about Barça’s next rival in the competition, Martino said, “Getafe will give us problems and even more so knowing that the return leg is away from home.” He added: “I hope that our form improves in the future. I always like to think that there’s room to improve.”