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26.11.2009 13:27

Puyol: "El Clásico is 50-50"

Roger Bogunyà

Carles Puyol does not believe that FC Barcelona are favourites to win el Clásico against Real Madrid at the weekend, but does think that keeping possession of the ball will be the key to winning the encounter.

The Blaugrana captain has played in over 20 games against Los Merengues and knows all about pre-match expectations and how predictions cannot accurately be made. “We have great respect for Madrid,” he explained. “They are league leaders and that means something. They have won nearly all their games and are a difficult side. I think our game with them is 50-50.”

Confidence and morale

2009-11-26_ENTRENO_55.JPGBeating Inter in the Champions League in midweek was a great morale-boost for Barça and Puyol thinks it was vital. “It was an important game and it has given us confidence and lifted morale because we were at our best. We could have gone out of the Champions League,” he continued.

Whoever wins on Sunday will not necessarily be the champions, the Catalan defender stated: “Now it is not overly important who are the leaders. There are three points to win and that is it.”

No change

Puyol does not think that Barça will change the way they play at all or make any plans to stop Cristiano Ronaldo. “What is most important is to keep the ball,” he said. “If we have it then we stop Ronaldo and their team. We cannot only watch him though as we have to watch all their players. We intend to play our own game and know they can cause us problems. We will play like we know how, with our idea of the game.

“They will be strong in defence and will look to their forwards because they have some great players there.”

Iniesta and Xavi

2009-11-26_ENTRENO_49.JPGBarça’s potential match-winners include Xavi and Andrés Iniesta and Puyol was full of praise for the duo. “Iniesta plays in a more advanced position and is a great player who is improving all the time. He is one of the best in the world.” On Xavi he added: “The recognition he deserves came later than I thought it would.”
Photos: Miguel Ruiz - FCB
Photos: Miguel Ruiz - FCB

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Goal celebration
Carles Puyol scored in the 2-6 win in the Santiago Bernabéu last term, but he is not planning anything special if he finds the net again on Sunday. “I do not prepare these things because I am no accustomed to scoring,” he said. “It is a spontaneous thing.”

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