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19.05.2007 13:58

“We have to believe in our possibilities”

Sandra Sarmiento

Frank Rijkaard believes his team is over the disappointment of the draw with Betis and is ready to break the negative run of recent years at the Calderón. “We are capable of winning at any ground”, he said.

In the build up to the game at Atlético Madrid, the Barça squad are confident of getting the three points. After drawing at home to Betis last week, Rijkaard has said “the team has worked hard all week and has reacted well”. The league is by no means lost yet and the squad is ready to do whatever it takes. “We are capable of winning at any ground and against any opponent”, said the FC Barcelona coach, who is convinced his players believe in their possibilities. He went on to say that this weekend “is decisive and it is important we get a good result but that would not mean that the job will be done”.

Atlético on the up

Last week’s win at Getafe has put Atlético Madrid on course for a UEFA Cup place. “They have always played well against Barça. They have fast players, very quick. But we are confident we can get a decent result”, said Rijkaard. He singled out Fernando Torres, Atletico’s leading scorer, as one of the main threats, saying “he is one of the star players. He has a very strong personality. But we will be going out there keen to do the job and to play flowing football”.

The games ahead

Rijkaard’s side will already know what their main rivals have done in round 25 when they take to the field. The Betis game has taught them that “in the league teams can slip up in any game”. But the main thing from now on is to make sure Barça get all 12 of the remaining points, although Rijkaard reiterated that “I don’t take any notice of what other teams do.”

Motivated by criticism

Rijkaard and his players have been severely criticised of late, but the Barcelona boss can see the positive side of such a negative attitude “I enjoy dealing with difficult situations. To say the truth, I don’t like being praised when I am working. It doesn’t help. But, for me, criticism is always going to add to the motivation”.

Ronaldinho turns down Copa América

The Brazilian ace has told the CBF of his decision and now it all depends on how Dunga responds. Ronaldinho has been called up for two friendlies on June 1 and 5, and Rijkaard commented by saying “his arguments are quite logical. You have to think about his fitness. If he doesn’t want to go, he has his reasons. I support Ronaldinho’s announcement.”

“We have to believe in our possibilities”

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The Eto'o formula
Barça’s Cameroonian striker believes he has the formula for winning the league, which means “showing them balls”. Rijkaard believes that “a player that goes onto the pitch always tries to make the best of all his attributes. We have to show character and mentality, but intelligence too. We need to work together to get the right result. It has to be a collective effort”.

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