The Barça players have all reacted positively the news that Leo Messi is signing an extended contract today. “I can’t imagine what Messi will be like in 2018, but it’s great news for Barça fans that he’s staying. He is the best player in the world and as long as nothing happens, he’ll be the best ever. We’ll try to make him feel as comfortable here as we can”, said Jordi Alba, before adding that “ I was once unlucky enough to have to face him as an opponent, but now I’m here I’m delighted to have him as a team-mate. I have never seen anybody capable of doing the things that he can do.” With respect to the comments made about Messi in some quarters after the Real Madrid match, Alba insisted that “he’s also a wonderful person, very down to earth, and that’s what those of us who know him appreciate most.”

Getafe get tough

Next Sunday, Barça will be experiencing a 12.00 start for the first time ever. It’ll be at the Camp Nou against Getafe and Jordi Alba doesn’t expect it to be easy. “Getafe are a very difficult opponent. They’re aggressive, they’ve got quality players and they play good football. They’ll make life very difficult for us, but I don’t think playing at 12.00 is any excuse. The difficulty is the quality of the opponent” said Alba, who is also relieved to note that all of the internationals have come back in good condition.

Challenging month ahead

Barça have a packed schedule in February, with Copa del Rey and Champions League matches in addition to La Liga. “It’s going to be a difficult month, with some tough matches, but we have to maintain our intensity in every competition. The team is capable of doing that as they have shown in previous seasons. We’ll be taking things match by match and looking to win them all … Before the cup match with Real Madrid we’ve got league and Champions League games, and they’re very important too”.

He also reiterated that Barça should only worry about their own concerns, and that Real Madrid is not the only other team in the league. “It’s Atlético Madrid who are second. People always speak a lot about Barça and Real Madrid, but it is Atlético who are closest behind us and they need to be treated just as seriously” he insisted.

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