Gerard Piqué in the press room / PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

Gerard Piqué was upbeat when he talked to the press after the team’s training session at the Ciutat Esportiva: “If someone told me we’d be here at the beginning of the season, I’d sign on the dotted line. We’ve won the three competitions we’ve played in, we have a fourth final secured, we’re alive in the Liga and we’re about to play in the last 16 in the Champions League. We give it our all every weekend and that’s the most important thing. Count on us at the end of the season ... There’s a lot of Liga left and we’ll give it our all. Other teams will have to win, perhaps the competition will prove a bit too long for them. People need to have confidence in us.”

Piqué called on his team to keep up their form ahead of this weekend’s match and he also said that there is no need for the Barça first team to prove itself: “I don’t think we have to prove ourselves. I believe that we always want to do the best job possible. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but the desire is always there.” After a very demanding January schedule, Piqué said: “the load is brutal. You have to be very strong both physically and mentally. We have all participated and we all feel important [within the team]. We feel as though the load is a bit lighter after getting into the Cup final, our schedule isn’t as demanding now.”

The value of the Cup

The Barça defender considers that his team’s achievement of reaching the Cup final should be highly valued: “it took a lot to get there. Osasuna, Real Madrid and Valencia are all Champions League level teams, it required a lot of work to beat them. It seems as though less value is given to the Cup but our goal is to win everything. We’ve reached three finals in four years, we’ll try to be victorious and win another title for the Club.” On the Cup final venue, “it’s not up to the players to pick the venue for the final. The best thing is being able to play it and we’ve won the right to be able to play it. The Federation will make the final decision on the venue and we’ll go with enthusiasm.”

Piqué believes that it’s a positive thing for the team that the final won’t be played until the end of the season: “it’s a positive thing to be able to look forward to a final. We know that we’re a game away from winning a title. Moving forward, that gives us confidence and peace of mind."

Guardiola, Cesc and Alexis

Gerard Piqué talk about Guardiola’s future: “I think he’s more motivated now than he was the first year ... since he arrived the team hasn’t stopped growing. A lot of titles have been won and a lot of youngsters have come up from the reserve side, they’re an asset to the Club.” On the team’s two most recent signings this year, Piqué was clear: “Cesc and Alexis are vital. They are very important and without them I’m sure we wouldn’t be where we are now.”

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