Dani Alves during today's press conference / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Dani Alves was speaking to reporters after training on Sunday and was upbeat about the team's improving form: "The right balance between home games and away games keeps you in the fight for the league title.  We're that distance behind because we've slipped up away from home.  However, at this key stage of the season we're beginning to recover that balance.  Let's hope we can keep up this standard until the end because I'm sure we'll have plenty to enjoy".

According to Alves, this balance depends on the players maintaining their intensity and concentration: "The most important thing is that we keep on competing right to the end, in the league as well, since it helps us in the rest of the competitions".  Asked to comment on Guardiola's assertion on Saturday that Barça would not win the league, Alves emphasised: "There's always sense to what the manager says.  We can only say that we'll compete right to the end.  We have to do honour to the shirt of the best club in the world.  The way to pay back the affection of so many people is to keep them happy with our football".

The moment of truth

Alves also spoke about the Champions League quarterfinals: "The best part of the Champions League is coming up and we have to be ready.  A really tough opponent awaits us.  We won't get any gifts from anybody.  At this stage of the competition you can't choose your opponent and you have to play as well as possible against whoever you draw".  He's not looking beyond the Milan contest and hopes to stay in the goals: "I hope we take all the chances we create from now on".