No sooner had they arrived at the team hotel in Geneva, than Claudio Bravo and Jordi Alba gave a press conference to discuss the way the preseason is going. Tonight they face arguably the most difficult of all of their preseason opponents, Napoli, but Bravo doesn’t think this game should be approached any differently to the others. “They are all important” he insisted, adding that “I don’t think this game will necessarily be an indicator of who’ll be playing when we start competition.” He was, of course, referring to one of the biggest mysteries at the club right now. Will it be Bravo, Ter Stegen or Masip who’ll be Barça’s regular keeper this season?
Bravo seems to be taking the issue well. “We are all getting ready to compete. They don’t have to explain to us why there will be rotations during these preseason matches. We are all under Luis Enrique’s orders, and it’ll be him who decides who plays or not. All we can do is work to make the boss’ decision as hard as possible”.
Defender Jordi Alba admitted that “we weren’t up to the level that people expected of us last season,” but is convinced that the hard-work and personality that Luis Enrique always showed as a footballer will also be reflected in his approach to management. “He is the right man to get this moving in the right direction. Barça must win titles. We have a winning mentality and this season the players and coaches look ready to do that. I am sure that if we all do our little bit then we’ll achieve big things”.
He was also asked to comment on Xavi’s decision to step down from the national team. “He was the biggest reason for all Spain’s success” he said. “It’s bad news because he’s such a good player. He has proven himself to be one of the best in the world. But he is going to stay at Barça and we’re delighted to be able to continue learning from him”.