Thiago Alcántara / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Thiago Alcántara spoke at a press conference on Thursday morning and revealed that he is confident Barça will qualify from the quarterfinal tie against Malaga. “They’ve got the home advantage after scoring two goals but we’ve played some great games against them. We’re confident we can win the tie”. He insisted that the players will go into the second leg with the same mentality as always despite the adverse score line in the Camp Nou (2-2). “We’ll plan the match in the same way that we did the first leg, which was to not speculate with the result but go out for a win”.

The mistake in the opening goal

Malaga took the lead on Wednesday evening through Iturra after a slipup by Thiago. The midfielder accepts that these unlucky moments are part of the game. “We’ve got a well-established style of play but sometimes you can make a mistake in a question of seconds, and it was my turn. You just have to forget it and move on. What hurts most is the work and sacrifice put in by your teammates”.

Thiago told reporters he has learned from the mistake and that despite the slipup he believes he’s in good form: “This small mistake is annoying but my progress and hunger for the game are the same. Confidence is growing day by day and progress is good”.

He also found time to defend his teammate Alexis, who has been the target of some criticism for his failure to take his chances against Malaga: “It’s very strange because just a week ago he scored two goals and yet against Malaga people were criticising him. I don’t think he can be blamed for anything”.

The return of Guardiola

“It’s incredibly good news that Pep is returning to football. He set a gold standard in Barcelona and made history. He’s given a lot to football”.