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Andrés Iniesta / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Andrés Iniesta spoke to the media today and with Sunday’s game against Madrid the focus of attention, the Spanish midfielder made ten clear points:

  • 1) “The team is fine, we are all up for this game. It’s an important match for the table, the rival and for everything surrounding a game like this”.
  • 2) “The game itself and the chance to get back into the title race is motivation enough to ensure we are completely focussed on the match”
  • 3) “We'll have to put in almost perfect game - that's what beating Madrid demands and we are capable of doing it”.
  • 4) “We can’t settle for anything other than a win – that has to be our mentality from now to Sunday, with no doubts at all”.
  • 5) “We have to have confidence in ourselves, as we always have with this kind of game, We aren’t 20 points behind the leader and there’s no big difference in results or the way we are both playing”.
  • 6) “It’s hard to believe there are Barça fans who don’t believe in us. This team has won the right to the fans’ trust  - sure we’ve had off days, but nobody should think Madrid are going to find us an easy prospect”-
  • 7) “We shoukd be thinking of us, rather than them  - we have to be Barça, we have to be brave. If we aren’t, then we will have a bad time of it . We have to play to win  - when we’ve had that attitude, things have gone well for us”.
  • 8) “When I play against Madrid, I’m not thinking if they are going to kick me or if it’s going to be a physical game. I’ll just be focussing on the fact that we are playing against the leaders and against some of the best players around – the rest of it is just part of all the talk that surrounds the event”.
  • 9) “Modric is a very interesting, high class player. He plays the game well, he’s a complete player, passing and connecting with his team mates. He is a very important piece in the Madrid team, he controls things, marks the rhythm of their game ....we will have to keep an eye on him”.
  • 10) “I guess it will be a special experience for Martino – he’s never been at the Bernabeu with a team before, but he’s got plenty of experience of big games in Argentina. Let’s hope he comes away with good memories from his first Clasico in Madrid”.

 

 

One eye on the Champions League

Iniesta also spoke about the Champions League draw set for this Friday and about which team he’d like to come up against in the quarter finals: “I’d prefer a team which sit back and let us take the initiative, even though that type of team have beaten us occasionally”.

“It’s important that we are again up there amongst the European elite, all the teams left in the competition are strong and at a very high level. Really, I can’t wait for the draw”.

Iniesta also dismissed the recent speculation surrounding coach Gerardo Martino: “I would like him to stay with us. He’s more than well prepared to be with us and as I said the other day, we’ll stick with him all the way. Right now though, we have two important months ahead of us in which we are fighting for everything and that has to be our focus. We have to be clear in our minds and not get distracted. After all that, we’ll see what happens”.

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