Iniesta spoke to the press ahead of the cup final. PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

Andrés Iniesta spoke to the press today ahead of the Spanish Cup Final on Wednesday night at Mestalla. The 19-year-old has plenty of experience of such games, but knows this one is going to be special, admitting that a large part of this season hangs on beating Real Madrid in Valencia. “The team is able to play well and win” he insists. “It would be a huge joy for our supporters. We only have thoughts of winning the trophy.”

Big responsibility

“We are not avoiding responsibilities, but we also know that things don’t always go to plan” said the midfielder. “But true Barça fans love this club whether it wins or loses. We can’t always win. Things don’t always work out right and you curse when things go wrong, but you have to get back up again. You can never stop trying until the end … And you need to go to sleep with a clear conscience, knowing that you did all you could to win.”

Absences

Real Madrid will almost certainly be playing without star player Cristiano Ronaldo, but Iniesta insists that “Madrid’s general idea won’t change without Ronaldo. We know about their virtues, we understand their potential. But at the end of the day, what really matters is that we perform well.” He was also asked to comment on Barça’s own injury concerns, replying that “we have 200% confidence in every player. When we win, it’s thanks to everyone, and when we lose, everybody is to blame”.

History

“We have set ourselves a very high standard. This team has achieved things that no team has achieved before. Nobody wants to make the fans happy more than we do” continued Iniesta, who also came out in defence of team-mate Leo Messi. “Nobody doubts Messi, who he is or what he represents. He always tries to respond, to make a difference, and he’s been doing that for a long time. He has set himself such high standards that now, if he doesn’t score, people say he’s played badly”.

Iniesta also spoke about the importance of the Spanish Cup, the Copa del Rey. “The cup has always been important. It’s a trophy” he commented. “The big demands of recent years have made it seem more important than ever, but I wouldn’t say that just because we win the cup we can say that we’ve saved the season.” He concluded by saying that “for me it is never a question of attitude when we lose. Nobody wants to lose. Nobody wants to do a bad job. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you want, but we are the first people to want things to turn out right.”