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14.04.2007 14:18

“The team has to respond without Ronaldinho”

Frank Rijkaard has raised the stakes for Sunday’s game against Mallorca by saying “it’s one of the most important games of the season”. The Blaugrana coach added that “the team has to respond without Ronaldinho”.

For the first time this season, Ronaldinho will not play in a Liga game at Camp Nou. Frank Rijkaard hopes this will add to the motivation of the team: “it will be an interesting game to see how the team responds without Ronaldinho. He will be missed”.

Ronaldinho under the weather

The coach explained that the attacking midfielder “is ill. It was serious enough to leave him with no energy, therefore, due to the fact he’s played many games, we decided to allow him time to recover by following a special programme”. Rijkaard also gave assurances that Ronnie needs to have a rest: “He’s played the world cup, every game, including friendlies. He’s been important for us – a determined player, however, the human body has its limits and occasionally, it lacks strength”.

Eusabio’s words

qm3d5021.jpgFrank Rijkaard’s helper explained the strategy of the technical body a few days ago and the Dutch coach wanted to clarify a few things: “we’re heading in our direction. All Eusabio said referred to the technical staff; he wasn’t looking to blame anyone. It was a type of positive self criticism”. Rijkaard also added that “Never in all my time here have I felt the need to control everything that goes on. We’ve got great players who have great comradeship and when something doesn’t go as planned, they look for a solution”.

Team credit

Barça with Frank Rijkaard at the helm, have won two Liga titles and a Champions League, and in three years, have won the respect on the world stage. Rijkaard said “This team has been playing together for three years now. They have achieved a wealth of things, all this is not lost in just one day. It is true, however, we’ve suffered some difficult moments this season. Teams prepare well against us and we have to be prepared to fight.
“The team has to respond without Ronaldinho”

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No fear of the chasing pack
Frank Rijkaard has appeared cool and calm. He is not worried about the developments going on just below Barça in La Liga table. “It doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t help looking at what the other teams are doing. What’s more important is to have a good mentality and attitude at all times, therefore, giving the team every possibility of playing at the highest level”.

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