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14.03.2008 14:39

Eusebio calls for focus

Vanessa Forns

Eusebio Sacristán believes that if FC Barcelona are to beat Schalke 04 and progress to the semi finals of the Champions League then they will have to be full focussed and show their opponents respect.

The Blaugrana coach appeared in front of the media on Friday after the Champions League draw had been made to voice his thoughts on Barça's next two games in the competition. Eusebio has a clear idea of what will be needed if the Catalan side are to make it through to the last four as he explained: "The squad should be able to cut themselves off from what is being said outside the club. We will have to ignore the happiness and confidence from people that are not part of it all."

Complete respect

Calling for respect to be shown towards Schalke, Eusebio stated that he is sure that the Bundesliga outfit will make the tie very difficult: "We always show respect to our opponents," he explained. "We will have to be completely focussed and give our best while remaining conscious of just how important this tie is. We are drawing closer to our objective, which is to reach the final and win the trophy, all the time."

Key points

Three major points stand out for Eusebio about Schalke: "Their strength, their consistency and their mindset which is laid down by the incredible support of their fans and by the fact that they have reached this stage of the competition."

Playing at home

Barça have been drawn to play the second leg at home, but that would mean that should they reach the semi finals and play either Roma or Manchester United, then the second leg would be away then. "It is certain that playing at home in the return leg is better as it allows you to remain slightly calmer," Eusebio continued. "But for the moment we should only think about the next round and not beyond that."

Messi’s absence

One player that is unlikely to appear in either leg against Schalke is Lionel Messi but Eusebio thinks that there is enough talent in the squad to cover for the skilful Argentinian forward: "It is a shame that he cannot play, but there are quite a few games between now and then and we should be accustomed to not playing with him in the team. We have enough strength in the squad to beat Schalke."
Eusebio calls for focus

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Interest and enthusiasm
Eusebio Sacristán explained the importance that he places on the players' ability to focus on each individual competition as it comes along. With regard to the Champions League, the coach explained that "the squad feels an enormous thrill at that time as the final is closer and closer". He continued: "I see great interest and enthusiasm from the players because they are doing well and want to win the Champions League again."

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