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Ivan Rakitic laid up one of Messi's three goals/ PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Leo Messi was outstanding as Barça romped home against Deportivo to the tune of a 4-0 win on Sunday night. Ivan Rakitic laid up one of the goals for the Argentinian and after the game said “it’s not just about today’s game. In the last week there has been an all-round improvement. We need to carry on like this and especially make sure we score first. It’s so much easier from then on”.

He admitted that beating Atlético had been a huge boost for the team’s confidence. “You need something like that sometimes” he said. “A special game like the one against Atlético. But team-work is what matters most, and if we carry on the way we are, then we’ll achieve big things”.

Rakitic is also happy with the atmosphere among the squad right now. “We don’t have any doubts” he said. “We are all united like one big family. We’re all after the same thing. We have to stick with this mentality for the next set of matches”.

Jordi Alba, Iniesta and Claudio Bravo also spoke after the game:

Jordi Alba:

“At a club like Barcelona, they over-dramatize things when you lose, and also when you win.”

“Nothing’s changed. Perhaps we’re a bit more intense and you could see that in our last three games”

“The Barça mentality is always to win everything, but there are other very strong teams around”.

“Leo makes a big difference, because he’s the best, but all of us are putting the work in”.

“We’re going into the cup game on good form, but not as favourites. It’s a home and away game, and it’ll be difficult”.

Iniesta:

“Looking back at the first half of the league season, we haven’t done badly. But we still need to get a lot better”

“I don’t think it’s a bad idea to rotate the team. It means we’ll be better conditioned for the run-in to the end of the season. It’s about doing what the coach decides and doing it as well as possible”.

“It’ll be a very tough, intense game against Atlético. They’re a strong team. We’ll need to do as well as possible and avoid committing errors”.


Andrés Iniesta reacts to big win in Riazor by fcbarcelona

Claudio Bravo:

“We played a serious game out there and we can go away happy that we scored lots of goals and didn’t concede any”.

“The Real Sociedad game was shock for us all. We just have to keep things calm and focus on our next matches”.

“It’s nice to keep a clean sheet, but we have to win games whatever happens. If they score once, we have to score twice”.

“It’s very important for us to have Messi in the team. We didn’t just discover that today. But there are others players in the team that can win results too”.

“I haven’t noticed any change of tendency. Perhaps we’re playing more aggressive football, and I hope we carry on like that”.

 “These games build your own confidence but also unsettle your opponents.”

Next training session

The first team will get straight back to work on Monday 19 January behind closed doors at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

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