The FC Barcelona manager knows there’s a big match in Moscow on Tuesday night, but for the time being would rather focus on Saturday’s date with Zaragoza
On the return of Puyol, he said “in principle, he’s fit and in the squad. Because it was an elbow injury, he was able to start playing quite quickly. He’s hardly stopped and that’s an advantage”
Qatar Airways on the shirt
Asked about the agreement between FC Barcelona and Qatar Sports Investments that means Qatar Airways will feature on the Club jersey from the 2013/14 season, Tito Vilanova said that “both the Board of Directors and the members decided we should wear shirt advertising. We are no more than employees. So, if they think it’s right, then so do I. A lot of teams have advertising”.
The league leaders aren’t thinking about the Champions League quite yet. Tito Vilanova is focused on Zaragoza’s visit to the Camp Nou on Saturday night at 20.00. He admits that “we are aware of the importance of Moscow on Tuesday, but there’s a game at home on Saturday too. You can’t relax in such a high-level league. Zaragoza is more important because it’s the next game … Most teams want to play well against Barça and Real Madrid. If we always won it wouldn’t be very exciting. You have to play every game, and none of them are easy.”
Vilanova has said that he’s looking forward to seeing Montañés, Abraham, Edu Oriol and Víctor Rodríguez, all of whom spent time at La Masia, adding that players like them “have always wanted to play at the Camp Nou, even if it means doing it with another team”.
Puyol is back
The team captain could be back on Saturday. “There’s one more training session. In principle, he’s fit and in the squad. Because it was an elbow injury, he was able to start playing quite quickly. He’s hardly stopped and that’s an advantage” said the Barça coach. “We all know how important he is. Naturally, it would be better if we could ensure that both he and Xavi are staying, but that’s a matter for the Club and the players”.
Vilanova is glad to be getting his injured players back, but at the same he’s upset to have lost Alexis: “It’s a shame. He seemed at peak fitness, and this injury will affect his progress. We have to get him fit again as soon as possible because he does a lot for us”. Isaac Cuenca could also be back very soon. “He’s starting to work on the pitch. Last year he performed really well for the first team and when he’s fit, he’ll be playing for us again” confirmed the first team boss.
Rotating the bench
“We rotate the players as much as we can, so that the players can stay in form throughout the whole season. We try to do it for everyone”, said Vilanova, who also has to think about internationals. “The national managers want to pick the best players. They have to win and their job isn’t easy either. But we have to evaluate the condition of the players and make sure they don’t end up accumulating too many games”.
The FC Barcelona also took the opportunity to congratulate both Víctor Valdés and Doctor Ricard Pruna for becoming fathers, and said that he has always paid special attention to whatever is said by Jorge Valdano, a man who recently praised Barça for their style. “Although he’s part of the Real Madrid structure, I am sure he’s enjoyed the last few years watching Barça. When he was a coach, his teams played a similar way to us”.