Javi Guerra: Barça are a team of matchwinners

Javi Guerra: Barça are a team of matchwinners

The new signing for Rayo up front is happy not to be facing Messi but aware that the blaugranes have plenty of other threats

Javi Guerra has been scoring goals ever since he turned professional and during his time at Valladolid he scored against Barça both at Camp Nou and the Nueva José Zorrilla. Now, in the colours of Rayo Vallecano, he returns to Barcelona with the aim once again of helping his side get something out of their trip to take on Barça. After a brief spell in English football with Cardiff City and time on loan with Málaga last season, the brother of former Barça B player Emilio Guerra is with Paco Jémez’s team this season. On Saturday against the blaugranes he could be Rayo’s main attacking weapon up front as the visitors need goals and points. Before the game at Camp Nou, fcbarcelona.com spoke to the striker.

- After several good seasons with Valladolid, you decided to leave for Cardiff. How did that go?

On the field it was not a good experience. I did not have the confidence of the coach or the club. In the end it was something that just did not work. All in all it was a new experience in a different league and a style of play that you learn from.

- You came back to Spain with Málaga and this season you have signed for Rayo Vallecano. What is it like to work with Paco Jémez?

He has surprised me a lot. It is true that he is a coach with a good reputation, everyone speaks well of him and that when you play against him you see his team play in a certain way. But, from the inside, it is a real pleasure, I love his way of working. He likes his team to have the ball and it is true that this requires a certain level of physical preparation. He is a great coach and easy to get close to.I don't know how much the international break will affect Barça

- Paco Jémez’s Rayo sides are always known for their possession football and focus on attacking, but this season they are finding it hard to score?

Yes, that’s right, it has been difficult for us. We have a lot of new players and the strikers we have are perhaps a little different to previous seasons. We are perhaps a bit more unpredictable and we have to adapt to the system that the coach wants. It’s a way of playing that is very demanding physically but we are creating chances and that is the most important thing. I am sure we will improve in that aspect.

-What do you think of Barça so far this season?

Barça will always be Barça. We know the quality that they have and the individuals they have. This season perhaps they are a little bit more vulnerable in defence, that is due to their style of play that means they leave space behind with a high line. Nevertheless, they are a complete side with several match winners.

-After the international break and with a Barça side hit by injuries...do you think you have a chance of getting something out of the game at Camp Nou?

Perhaps it is a good time to be going to Camp Nou, but we know that Barça will go for it from the very start. These international breaks, we don’t know just how much they affect a team like Barça, but it is true that we don’t have so many international players and we have had a more settled build up to the game. I personally am not a fan of the international breaks, especially at the start of the season, as they break up the rhythm and the dynamic of competition.Let's hope Barça have an off day

-Will it help that Messi won’t be out there on the field?

Obviously yes. Messi always makes a difference. At any given moment he can beat five players and score. Any team would miss Messi, but perhaps Barça miss him least. At Barça any player can be decisive.

-Do you think Barça are favourites to win the league?

Without doubt. You would expect that some of the teams who are up there now, like Villarreal and Celta, will sooner or later be overtaken by Barça and Real Madrid. Barça have room to improve but we hope they are not at their best against us. If that happens and we are focused then we could get something out of the game.

- You know what it is to score against Barça, and at Camp Nou (the season 2013/14 with Valladolid). What would it mean to repeat that feat?

That day (Barça came back from 1-0 down to win 4-1), my goal came too early. Against teams like Barça if you score early you run the risk of ‘angering’ them and it’s worse. Great teams have that ability to overpower you. Nevertheless, if on Saturday we manage to get ahead then perhaps Barça’s nervousness will allows to maybe get a point.

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