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Mascherano with Pinto and Messi / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Javier Mascherano and Víctor Valdés talked to the press after last night’s victory over Atletico Madrid. The Argentine highlighted how difficult it was to defeat the Colchoneros: “We had our chances, but we went up against a very difficult team. This is a winning and combative Atletico side, they are very tough. They played an intelligent game both here and in Madrid, both matches were even.

“This Club demands victory. There will be days where we play better, but today the Super Cup had to stay here,” declared Mascherano.

Valdés saves the day

The centre back also praised Valdés’ performance: “He is one of the best keepers in the world. There are people who doubted him but today he showed how professional he is.” When asked about Messi, Mascherano said, “they didn’t allow him to play his game.”

The Argentine also had words for Tito Vilanova: “Without the 100-point league title this wouldn’t have been possible. I want Tito to also be part of this.”

Teamwork

Víctor Valdés was one of the best players on the pitch Wednesday night. His incredible saves kept Atletico off the board making him crucial in Barça’s 11th Spanish Super Cup victory. After the match, the Catalan praised his team-mates: “The important thing is how we all worked as a team. On defence, when we went forward, playing on the wings... we all collaborated.

“It’s a shame that the match ended in a goalless draw because we created a lot of chances,” he said. “Atletico Madrid are a great team, we had to be very attentive.”

The Catalan then went on to explain the importance of winning the first title of the 2013/14 season and he expressed his desire to win more silverware at the end of the year: “Starting off the season with a title is important. We’re eager to win more. We’re on the right path.”

Alexis and Piqué also made statements to the press after the match:

Alexis:

“Criticism makes me stronger. We have to take it one match at a time.”

“Atletico played well in the first leg and they also played well in the second leg.”

“I’m very pleased with my performance, but there are a lot of important players on the team.”

Piqué:

“We have to improve our ball circulation, we have to be faster. We need to find more space so that we can score.”

“Atletico made it very difficult for us.”

“The referees need to take action. They are very permissive.”

“Last year we had a lot of injuries. The players who are here now are sufficient. We have a good attitude.”

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