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10.09.2007 14:07

Rijkaard sees no favourite

Sandra Sarmiento

Frank Rijkaard is thoroughly looking forward to the Copa Catalunya final against Gimnastic Tarragona. He says it will be “a good experience for the reserve players”.

After the semi final win against Girona, this is Barça’s first final of the season, in which they will face the side currently lying fifth in the second division. Most of the Barça side will be reserves, and Rijkaard says “you can’t speak of favourites. The truth is there are lots of reserve team players and this will be a great experience for them. It won’t be easy for them but they are all looking forward to it”.
Positive vibes.

Frank Rijkaard will not have much of a chance to get his team ready for Sunday’s game with Osasuna, as his international players will not be back until Thursday. He knows that there is still room for improvement following the 3-1 win over Bilbao last week. “Our criteria are always based on the last game we play. We started well and got worse from there on, but the team reacted well and it is important to keep working along those lines”.

Laporta’s comments

entreno100907_x5x.jpgAfter the first official game of the season at the Camp Nou, Joan Laporta told Barça TV that “we have to keep working because the team needs to grow. We are getting into the right tone, but it is not the one we want quite yet”. Frank Rijkaard appreciates these views, and said “the president wants to show how enthusiastic we are and wants the team to work and win big things. I think that’s good, because the only thing we want is for Barça to win”. Asked how he and the president are getting on, the FC Barcelona manager made it clear that “on a personal and professional level we have a good relationship. From the start until now. I have a lot of respect for him and think he is doing a great job”.

Naming names

Ronaldinho was singled out for comment by the Barça manager, who said “I think he has a great attitude, he is committed and is gradually finding his form”. He is also glad to have Gudjohnsen back to full fitness, commenting that “he has recovered from his injury and he worked hard to do that.

He is one more member of the squad right now”. He finally added how impressed he is with Bojan and Giovani, and was asked what he made of the rumours that other clubs are after their services. “The club is working to ensure they stay at Barça” he said. Bojan Krkic has attracted plenty of attention following his outstanding performances at the Under 17 World Cup, and Rijkaard says “he is a member of our squad. That his role, and that is role and everybody’s role”.
Rijkaard sees no favourite

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In favour of Catalonia v USA
Last week the RFEF decided to forbid the Catalonia v USA friendly international on October 14 from being staged. Rijkaard said “I would like the game to be played because it is always a great event when Catalonia play matches. It would be a shame if the game couldn’t go ahead”.

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