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PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

A day before the Champions League semi-final return leg, Gerard Piqué is sure of how Barça need to play in order to fight back from last week’s 1-0. “We’ll have our chance to go through if we play like we did at Stamford Bridge. We need to control the match and I’m sure that we’ll have our chance,” he said. According to the defender, “when you talk about a Champions League semi-final, fatigue doesn’t influence the team. Being tired is an excuse for losers.” He also said that Chelsea are a “strong and experienced team.”

The team deserves credit

Despite Saturday’s disappointment, the defender called on the Camp Nou faithful to help the team in tomorrow’s decisive match: “we have a great chance to qualify for another final, we have to value this moment.” He added: “I’m convinced that no Culé doubts this team. We’ve given a lot and the fans are with us. The Camp Nou will be full and [the fans] will cheer us on.”

Piqué went on to say, “talk of an end of an era comes easy here. A team that has won 13 out of 16 titles deserves a bit more credit. We have to wait for another team to win as much as we have until all this talk is confirmed.” The Azulgrana congratulated Madrid for their win in the Clásico: “they’ve had a fantastic season, especially in the Liga. I want to congratulate them and say that we’ll be here next year.”

“The important thing is winning, not if I play”

The defender talked about his absence from the starting team in Barça’s last two matches against Chelsea and Madrid. “It’s a relatively new situation for me, I’m used to playing, but it’s a technical decision and I have to respect it and work as hard as I can to be in the starting XI,” he said. Piqué, who is in “high spirits,” is clear: “I have accept the decision with professionalism. The important thing is winning, not if I play. It all comes down to winning tomorrow and getting to the final.”

Echoing his manager, Piqué talked about his relationship with Josep Guardiola: “we both arrived at the same time, we are both part of a really beautiful era and I have a lot of confidence in him, because he loves this Club and he’s passionate about the sport. We have a very good relationship, we talk a lot.” He jokingly added: “He’s always giving me grief about something, but I like it.” The defender is also convinced that the manager will extend his contract for another season.


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