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Victor Valdés / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Víctor Valdés reckons that Tuesday's win away to Bayer Leverkusen was very important for the team. Doing so well in Germany "keeps us alive in the competition, which is something very important for us ... And at the same time it provided inspiration for the league." Valdés feels that the way they performed at the BayArena was ideal preparation for what's left of the season. "The Champions League will affect what happens in the League" he claimed.

As many of his team mates have made patently clear this week, Valdés believes they have to keep fighting to reduce Real Madrid's ten-point lead. "If we look at how the season has gone, there's no denying that we haven't been getting the away results we'd hoped for. And that's why we're ten points behind" he said. "But we have to keep at it. We won't let our heads drop. We have to keep believing and fighting".

Piqué sidelined

Valdés didn't want to make a big thing of Piqué not being in the team against Leverkusen. "There's no need to go on about that. He's the best centre back in the world and he's always shown that. It was just the manager's decision the other day" he said, before adding that "I haven't noticed any change in him. He's working harder than ever and enthusiastic about things".

Xavi Hernàndez also watched the win at the Bayer 04 from the terraces. Valdés agreed that the team missed the midfielder "because he's an important player for us ... He's trying to get fit again as quickly as possible. I'm sure he'll be back soon".

Praise for Alexis

The Barça stopper also mentioned Alexis Sánchez's great form. "He's phenomenal. He had no problem adapting and he's done everything to perfection ... He's one of the best finishers in the world".

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