matchdays | 2015-05-30
Bartra: There is no greater advantage than having Messi
If we don’t win this game there will be no treble.
FC Barcelona’s Marc Bartra gave an interview to El Pais discussing tonight’s Copa del Rey final. You can read the original in Spanish here.
Q: You're back in the Cup final. What are your thoughts?
A: That we did things right, otherwise we wouldn’t be here, that it’s very nice to play in it, and that if you don’t win it, nothing else matters because I was taught that, in football, playing well was winning, but in the first team you have to do two things: play well and win. That’s what I learned at Barça and that’s what I want to do today.
A year ago you played in another final. What do you recall from it?
That we lost it to Madrid.
Is that painful?
Of course, we lost.
But you played very well, you even scored.
And? It didn’t matter. Yes, I performed at a good level. It’s true that I hadn't trained in almost a week and that I wasn’t sure if I would even play, but the team lost. That’s another thing I learned as a kid: you win or you lose. And we lost. Yes, it was an experience that made me mature a lot, but in the end Barcelona lost and that’s what I’m left with.
Why do you say it made you mature a lot?
Because it’s obvious. I had been out for a while, Piqué wasn’t fit, I played, we competed against a great team, I got injured, I scored, we lost… That game was a lesson. You learn from everything.
Is the team reaching the final in a better state than last year's team?
It’s different. The circumstances are different, it’s never the same.
What has changed?
I don’t know… The way we work, the rotations… The rotations above everything else. That has made us feel important. But it’s not magic because that doesn’t exist. The coach made us aware of the fact that he values us and he makes us feel important. A final is important because of the road you traveled to get to it.
We’ve heard the idea that without a double there can be no treble? Is that just a figure of speech or a real concept?
Basically it’s the idea that tomorrow is today. Without today there is no tomorrow. I think that my teammates would agree with this. There’s only one game, nothing else. If we don’t win this game there will be no treble.
Is that a part of your mental training?
Yes, of course. I believe in mental training. Just like there is physical training, for me there is also mental training. I understand that there is no idea that can keep you at the maximum competitive level.
Do you train your mind as well as your body?
How are you dealing with your contract situation?
I’m not thinking about that.
But if you…
No, I’m not thinking about that. I’m just thinking about the final, my mind is focused on the final. I am concentrating on the present. There is no point thinking about anything other than that.
You are from the countryside. Do you feel that way?
Obviously. My grandfather was a farmer. I remember him a lot. He was a big Barça fan and he died without seeing me play here. That upsets me. He never saw me wearing blaugrana. He would be proud of me.
As a kid what did you do? What did you play?
I played football and I watched football on TV. I didn’t watch cartoons. Basically I played in the street. My brother and I didn’t count from one to 10, rather we recited Barça’s lineup. One, Zubizarreta; two, Ferrer; four, Koeman… all the way to 11.
Is lifting the Copa del Rey like a thorn in your side?
I can’t deny that. I want to win it. I had a thorn in my side in the league with Atlético, because we lost it at home; with Bayern because of what happened two years ago when they thrashed us at their stadium; and I hope and want to win this Copa del Rey at the Camp Nou, honestly, to get revenge for the Cup final against Madrid.
And thinking about Athletic, what are your thoughts?
That it’s going to be hard.
Are you worried that the fans think that you’ve already won it?
Partly. But we know it’s not like that. It would be a mistake to think that way.
Is it a bigger advantage to play at home or to have Messi?
There is no bigger advantage than having Messi.
Are you scared about being a father?
No, it’s an opportunity to be a better person. It’s made me grow, there’s no doubt about that.
Anything wrong? Send your correction.