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22.04.2010 14:28

“The Xerez game is like another final”

Vanessa Forns

Although he admits that the team is looking forward to the return with Inter on Wednesday, Valdés insists that the team is fully focused on the more immediate task - Xerez on Saturday.

“We are looking forward to Wednesday. It’s an important game, but we also have to think about facing Xerez” said the FCB keeper, who stated that for the time being, it is only the decisive weekend league fixture that the players are thinking about.

Confidence booster

2010-04-22_ENTRENO_59.JPGHe doesn’t expect any slip-ups from Real Madrid, and so “it is a very important game for us. Xerez are on the up, and we’ll have to be careful. It has been a long week, and I hope we can cope physically. If we win, then it’ll be a great boost for our morale.”

Looking for a comeback

But the reporters in the room still pressed Valdés with questions about the crunch Champions League game with Inter. After the 3-1 defeat at the Giuseppe Meazza, the first choice stopper said that “it is good to be self-critical, win or lose” before adding that the squad have no doubt that they are able to turn the tie around at home.

Champions League magic at the Camp Nou

“We hope to come back and we are sure we can come back. There’s no doubt we can do it”, he said. The dream of the final at the Bernabéu is still very much alive, and “we hope that this will be another magical European night at the Camp Nou. I hope the atmosphere is positive for Barça, because that will always help us.”

Avoiding controversy

2010-04-22_ENTRENO_55.JPGSince the final whistle in Milan, there has been much talk both of the referee’s performance and of José Mourinho’s comments, but Valdés thinks it would be wiser for the players not to get involved. “Our job is to play football, and our duty on Wednesday is to turn the tie around and not think about anything else. What we want to do is play in the final.”

No time for tiredness

On the subject of whether such a hectic schedule is wearing the players out either mentally, physically or both, Valdés was emphatic. “We are always under pressure to win. We have to learn to cope with that pressure every day. The team is in good shape, and if that is the case then the results will come too. At this stage of the season, progressing in tournaments is what gives you confidence.”
“The Xerez game is like another final”

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Shared protagonism
Asked whether his contribution this season has been more decisive than ever before, Valdés replied that “I have tried to do the best job I can. I am very pleased with the way things are going. There is no doubt that the defence helps a lot too.”

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