Adriano. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUZ-FCB.

Benfica are coming on Wednesday night, although FCB have already secured qualification in first place from their UCL group. But that doesn’t mean the home side will be taking a blasé attitude to the encounter. As Adriano Correia said in his pre-match press conference, “every game is important. This is the Champions League, and there are players coming back from injury, others that don’t get to play as much, and it’s important for the team and our image … We’ll give it one hundred per cent, knowing that Benfica are fighting for qualification”.

The man who has played in every position in defence is having a terrific season so far. Asked about his versatility, he said “right now I don’t where I like playing the most. The most important thing is to play. I like being on the pitch and helping the team and the boss. It is an honour that he trusts me so much and I am just trying to improve”.

5 goals and playing well

With five goals this season, the Brazilian has been on outstanding form. “I honestly didn’t expect to score so much” he admits. “Since I first started out ten years ago, this has been my best start to a season … We defenders also like to score and contribute to the attack”.

Adriano is impressed with the way the team is performing, and also spoke about how happy he is to be at the Camp Nou: “I worked hard in Brazil and Seville to get to play for the best team in the world. It’s a tremendous joy to play for this Barça team, to learn so much from Pep and Tito and to have won so many things”.

Messi’s record

Asked whether he thinks Leo Messi will score against Benfica and thus equal Gerd Müller’s record, Adriano Correia insisted that “if he scores, so much the better. We all want him to beat a record that has stood for 40 years, and want to help to make that happen for him. But it would be best if he plays as he normally does, and doesn’t get obsessed with it … What it shows is that he’s getting better with each game, and with each season.”