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13.12.2009 18:04

The perfect year

Sandra Sarmiento

The Barça players travel to Abu Dhabi, where they have the chance to make club history, with the ambition of finishing off a magical year.

Victor Valdes in one of the six remaining Barça players who remember their disappointment in 2006, when they lost in the final in Yokohama to the Brazilian side Internacional, after having won the Champions League the previous summer in Paris. Three years on and the side know they have a job to finish: “The fact that the club has never won this trophy serves as motivation, both for me and the club”, said the Barça goalkeeper.

The 2006 final

2009-12-10_ENTRENO_30.JPGBarça faced Internacional Porto Alegre on December 17th 2006 in Yokohama, after having beaten the Mexican side America in the semis. Rijkaard’s side were favourites to win, but they ended runners-up. “We weren’t over-confident before the game. They played well, closed us down and the ball just wouldn’t go in”.

They haven’t had enough

They have already won everything, both as individuals and as a team. Titles, praise, recognition, prestige. But they haven’t had enough. To round the year off nicely, Guardiola’s men want to win the mythical five cups.

Radical change in climate

Three years ago, Barça had to face cold, damp and jet-lag. The first few days were hard for the players, especially the change in time zone. In Abu Dhabi it’ll be hot, with the time just three hours ahead: “I’ve been talking with Puyol about it, and we think it’ll be better this time because in Japan, the change was hard – it was really damp”, Valdes explained.
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)
Images: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)
“The best club in the world”
For Barça fans there is no doubt, but winning the Clubs World Cup would put it beyond argument. Gerard Piqué stated: “All titles are a priority, but it’s true that this one gives us special motivation. If you win it, you really can say you are the best in the world”.

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