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30.01.2008 21:39

"We’re ready to play a great match”

David Puig

Frank Rijkaard is looking forward to beating Villarreal and qualifying for the semi-finals of the Cup. He’s expecting an exciting match and has called on the fans to get behind the team.

Frank Rijkaard believes it’ll be an entertaining match on Thursday against Villarreal and is asking the fans to turn up to the Camp Nou in large numbers to support the team. Speaking at a press conference after the final training session on Wednesday, he told reporters: “I’d like the team to be able to transmit something to the crowd and for the fans to help us beat Villarreal. The team is calm and ready for Thursday’s match”.

Ronaldinho’s contribution

qm3d8753.jpgAs usual, Rijkaard gave no clues as to the starting line-up, including a possible return for Ronaldinho: “Both Ronaldinho and Márquez are ready to play but I won’t reveal that until tomorrow (Thursday). Getting back in the squad is a first step for Ronaldinho after being out for many days. He’s worked hard and now he’s back. Ronaldinho can bring quality and humanity and is, and has been, an important part of the team. However, he doesn’t have to prove anything. We already know what he’s capable of”.

First goal vital

Rijkaard believes Thursday’s match will be attractive for the fans as both teams have to go for goal: “For us it would be very important to score the first goal. And from there we’ll have to work very hard to hold on to the result. Villarreal are a good team, tactically very strong. I believe we could see a very attractive match”.
“We’re ready to play a great match”

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Hit by the absences
Rijkaard also said that his team had been weakened by some notable absences and admitted that Real Madrid are on a good run: “The league leaders are winning everything and have a good team. I don’t want to look for excuses but we have had injury problems. If you take out players like Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Messi and Henry from a team that’s working, it’s logical it’ll be noticed”.

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