Andoni Zubizarreta, archive image / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Andoni Zubizarreta spoke to the media at Barcelona Airport shortly before the team’s flight left for Munich, where they play the first leg of the Champions League semi final on Tuesday night against Bayern. The FCB director of football described this decisive stage of the season. “The time has come to finish off the good work we’ve been doing all season. We are capable of competing through difficult times and that’s the mentality we’re taking with us to Munich”, he commented.

The Basque also spoke about the condition of their club’s star striker. “Messi is with the team and is fit enough to play, but the coaches will have to decide whether he does or not”, said Zubi. “We want to be sure that we have the best possible team on the field.” As usual, he was unwilling to give any prediction of the result, limiting his response to that question to the comment that “football is an unpredictable game”.

Unbeatable position

Zubizarreta feels that Barça are “in an enviable position” coming into this decisive stage of the season, one “we would have settled for at the start … We are in the semi finals of the Champions League, we reached the semis of the Copa del Rey too, and are top of the league … This is the sixth year in a row that we have made it into the semi finals of the Champions League, and it is here that you meet really tough, demanding and difficult teams”.

Still on the forthcoming game with Bayern, he concluded by saying that “once you have come this far, you know how difficult it is going to be, but our league position helps to take some of the pressure off”.

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