Piqué celebra amb Messi un dels gols marcats al Nuevo Arcángel / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Gerard Piqué was one of FC Barcelona’s standout players this evening at the Nuevo Arcángel Stadium. The fullback, who teamed up with Javier Mascherano in the centre of the defence, was the Barça player that won back possession the most (18 times). Piqué admitted that “we suffered a lot in the first minutes of the game but we did well on defence.” When asked about Leo Messi, Piqué said that “he demonstrates match after match that he’s the best. That he still has the same desire to score.”

The player congratulated Córdoba and their fans. “We knew that they would be a complicated rival, especially at home. Their fans were fantastic and they helped their team a lot.” Despite the 0-2, Piqué believes that “the tie is in our favour but it’s definitely not over.”

He added: “I feel good physically. I can always improve.”

Javier Mascherano

“Cordoba demanded a lot from us but we had the sufficient drive to win the match.”

“Messi is unique, he’s the best player in the history of the sport. The numbers say so. We’re talking about 88 goals as if it were normal, what he’s done is incredible.”

“Messi has been touched by a magic wand.”

“We have a good result but we still have to play at home. Cordoba pushed us to the limit. They were brave and they pressured us a lot.”

“We have the obligation to represent the Club the best way possible. We’re the holders of the Cup and we have to defend our title.”

Dani Alves

“The ball was terrible and it made it hard to play. It slowed our game down and when you’re slow your rival can pressure you.”

“The atmosphere was spectacular. The people really enjoyed watching their team play. It’s a demonstration of how football should be enjoyed.”

“It was a great match for spectators.”

“Talking about Messi isn’t easy. He’s not normal. People look to him now. Before this it was Pelé and Maradona, now in the 21st century, it’s Messi.”

Training session at 12.00

The team will train at 12.00 as the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Xavi Hernández will talk to the press after the session.

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