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26.09.2007 23:59

Rijkaard: "I have seen a great team"

Vanessa Forns

Rijkaard believes that the key to FC Barcelona's emphatic triumph against Real Zaragoza was the unity shown by his side as they hit four goals in the opening 45 minutes to clinch victory. "I have seen a great team and a real togetherness," he said.

The Dutch coach congratulated his players after their third straight win at Camp Nou was secured thanks to two goals from Leo Messi and one apiece from Andrés Iniesta and Rafa Márquez. "I was impressed by the work-rate, mentality and pressure shown by the team that allowed us to play some great football," he continued. "The team worked well together and the fans reacted with enthusiasim. I thought the relationship between the players and the crowd was great to see. When the team plays well the technical side of the play is more noticable and everything has made this a very good night for Barça."

A good mentality

One fine example of the players working with each other during the game was "their capacity to react after (Alberto) Zapater had equalised", Rijkaard said. "Also when we were 4-1 ahead, we continued to try and extend our lead. Everything start with a good mentality, how we work and how we play together. "Hard work and talent went hand-in-hand tonight."

Messi and Henry

Reflecting on another strong performance from Lionel Messi, the Blaugrana coach said that the youngster "was oustanding". He then spoke about Henry's unfortunate luck in front of goal. "The most important thing is that he is creating a lot of chances and playing a big part in the game," Rijkaard said. "It is just a question of time. He did hold the ball up very well for Messi's first goal."

Praise for Ronaldinho

During the game the Barça fans chanted the name of Ronaldinho, despite the Brazilian not being in attendance on Wednesday evening. "That encouraged the players," Rijkaard said. "Showing unity is what everyone wants. We more people are together, we are stronger."

Zaragoza’s qualities

Finally, Rijkaard wanted to make it clear that despite the convincing victory "it was never easy". He continued: "Zaragoza is a team with a lot of quality and if you give them space then they can punish you at any moment. It is a pity that we did not score more though."
Rijkaard: “I have seen a great team“
Laporta pleased with three wins
Joan Laporta was also delighted with the convincing victory against Real Zaragoza as he echoed Frank Rijkaard's words of praise and encouragement to the players. "The unity was great and I hope that the players continue working like that," he said. "There are a lot of players with ability to win games and tonight the whole team played well. I could not pick out an individual."

The FC Barcelona president was also pleased that "we have had three important home game and we have won all of them and by playing very well". He was also pleased with the public support for Ronaldinho. "We are all with Ronaldinho," Laporta explained. "He is a key member of this team and I hope that he, and Samuel Eto'o, return to action soon. They have to be part of this team. I liked the fans singing for Ronaldindo a lot."

Laporta concluded by saying how satisfied he was with the first year of the agreement between Unicef and FC Barcelona.

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