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16.11.2009 10:30

“We’ll play the World Club Cup as if it were the Champions League”.

Sandra Sarmiento

Three years on from the disappointment of losing the FIFA World Club Cup in Japan, Márquez told us that the team is determined to win the title this time round in the UAE.

The pause in the league programme prompted by international matches will now give way to a hectic schedule of league, Champions League and World Club Cup matches. Eight matches in the space of a month with San Mamés and the visits of Inter Milan and Madrid coming up next. Speaking in the second part of his interview with www.fcbarcelona.cat, Rafa assured the fans that the team is going well and is excited about the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.

Now that we’re well into the season, do you think the team is playing better or worse than last year?

“The opponents have a lot to say in that. They know us pretty well and they plan out the matches better. But the team is going well and playing good football. And there’s the same mentality as last year. Every day the boss drums it into us”.

It’s the World Club Cup in December, something Barça has never won. Are the players as motivated as for the Champions League?

web_06.jpg“It’s an important tournament. On a personal level winning the World Club Cup looks pretty good on your CV and it’s something that some of us are lacking. This tournament is important and we’ll play it as if it were the Champions League. Because that’s what the Club and the manager demand of us”.

After the international break, there’s an important week coming up with the match in San Mamés and the visits of Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Bearing in mind the situation in the CL group stage is the Champions League now the priority?

“The Bilbao game is going to be difficult, especially as it’s away and we have to go for the three points. It’s true that the Champions League has turned a bit tricky. We haven’t got the results and the group is tight. So we have to take advantage of playing at home and try and get the three points. They’re going to be very important for deciding who goes through to the next stage”.

How do you think Inter Milan will play in the Camp Nou?

“It’ll be the same as in San Siro - they’ll defend. In fact every team that comes to the Camp Nou does the same, without exception. It’s going to be complicated. They’ve got some fast, quality people up front. We already know about Samuel and Milito. It’s not going to be at all easy”.

How do you think the Barça fans will receive Eto’o?

2009-11-13_ENTRENO_36.JPG“Just for what he is, a great footballer who has given a lot to this Club. And apart from being a great player he’s a great person. He deserves to be received with affection”.

Then comes Real Madrid. Could this be a turning point in the league?

“It’s still early days but the bigger the lead we have at the beginning the better. You have to take your chances and try and maintain the advantage. On 29th we’re playing at home and we don’t want to drop any points here at home”.

Right now is Barça a step ahead of Real Madrid?

“Since last year we’ve had a concept of how to play, of what the coach wants. And we’ve assimilated it pretty well. We play as a team and our rival hasn’t found that”.
“We’ll play the World Club Cup as if it were the Champions League”.

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Atlante on the horizons
The Mexican side could well be Barça’s first opponent if they manage to get past the winner of the tie between Auckland City and Al-Ahly: “I don’t know them very well but I know Solari plays for Atlante. He’s well known in the Spanish league. They’re going well in the Mexican league. They’re strong and well coached”.

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