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06.10.2007 21:44

Rijkaard: "We are strong at home"

Anna Segura

Frank Rijkaard has called upon his FC Barcelona players to show why they are considered to be so strong at Camp Nou when Atlético de Madrid visit for the enticing encounter on Sunday.

The Dutch coach spoke ahead of Barça's encounter with Los Colchoneros, who were the last away team to record a victory at the stadium and arrive with a strong of consecutive wins under their belts. "We are strong at home and we have to prove it," the Blaugrana boss said. "We also have to be entertaining and show respect to our opponents."

Puyol and Milito

Gabi Milito did not appear against VfB Stuttgart in midweek after suffering a slight hip injury, while Carles Puyol had to be replaced after picking up a knock having come on as a substitute. Both players will be in action against Atlético, however. "Milito has recovered and is good condition," Rijkaard confirmed. "Puyol only a suffered a strong blow."

No injury alarms

Rijkaard_entreno_061007.JPGRijkaard then explained that there is not need for alarm over the number of injuries suffered by the Barça squad this term. "We have a less injuries on average than the rest of the teams in the league," he continued. "They have the same or more injuries than us." Regarding physical prepaaration, the coach insisted that "nothing will change".

Touré Yaya's injury has seen the Ivory Coast international join Edmílson and Rafa Márquez in the treatment room, leaving Rijkaard having to play without his familiar defensive midfielder. Despite that, the trainer does not see it as a problem. "When the team does its job, the injuries are not a problem," he explained. "But it is true that it is an important position on the field for the team. We just have to play with the players that we have."

Messi and Agüero

One of the major talking points ahead of Sunday's game with Atlético is the meeting of compatriots Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero. Even though both players are in form, Rijkaard is not keen on drawing similarities between them. "Messi cannot be compared to anyone," he said. "He is so special that it is not possible to compare him." The former Holland boss does not believe that the game should just be about two players either. "It wll be a game between two teams that have many great players."
Rijkaard: “We are strong at home“

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Rallying behind Oleguer
Frank Rijkaard reflected on Oleguer's participation in the recent Rally of Catalunya as a co-pilot. "He recognised that he had to ask permission and that was good to see on his part," he Barça coach said.

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