Racing Santander manager Hector Raul Cuper was full of praise for Pep Guardiola’s Barça team. "Since I’ve been in football they are by far the best team I've ever seen" said the Argentine manager on www.fcbarcelona.cat.
Racing are about to visit the Camp Nou, where they’ll try to win their first game in the
league away from home. Hector Cuper told the FC Barcelona web site that he recognises that
it’s the toughest challenge they’ll face.
How are things going in Santander?
"It's difficult because we have a very low budget and it’s all very tight. We must work
hard, and we’re doing just that. We have to adapt to the challenges and adapt to what we
have. There’s no point complaining or crying about what you have and what you don’t
have. We are what we are and we’ll fight to meet our goals".
Can Racing get a result on Saturday?
"It will be very difficult. As far as desire and enthusiasm are concerned I’m
sure we can get a good result, but this will depend on lots of things. We have to take into account
the team facing us, and their potential. Of the things we can control, I’m certain
we’ll try to do that throughout the game, but keeping an eye on every detail is practically
impossible. We have to be clear on which strategy we’ll employ, because it’s not enough
just to defend well, we also have to attack, and we’ve been working all week to try and
counter their game".
What do you think of this Barça?
"I have a very clear opinion. Since I’ve been in the world of football I've never seen
anything like them. They are the tops. They’re the best team in the world, far ahead of the
rest. They have everything, they’ve broken the mould. To add something new, I’d say
they are a team without equal. At times the forwards are in midfield and vice versa, and the
defenders become the most dangerous forwards. Can anybody tell me whether Busquets is a defender or
midfield player, whether Messi is a winger, striker, midfield player, or plays just behind the
strikers, not to mention Mascherano. I've always said that perfection doesn’t exist, but
Barça is the closest I've ever seen"
What memories do you have of the games you played against Barça in the nineties with
Mallorca and Valencia?
"Very good ones. With Mallorca we beat them in the Spanish Super Cup, after losing
an epic final in Valencia in the Spanish Cup. With Valencia the games were always spectacular, the
type of games that bring in more fans. Barça had a great team, but they had some weaknesses. The
current Barça team have so few weak spots"
Do you think that the Spanish League and Champions League are between two teams?
Yes, I agree totally with this theory. They are the top sides, both at a sporting
and an economic level. One thing is tied to the other. I think the other teams have very little
chance of winning the title, and two Champions League places are already decided. The difference
between them is that if Barça need any player from the reserves, they take him, he trains with the
first team, and he plays as if he’s been playing for three or four years with the team. Only
Barça can do this at present, it’s both admirable and amazing. That a team at this world
level usually has six or seven players in the team who have come through the academy set-up, and
that can even rise to ten or eleven, is unique in the world".