squad | 2015-03-28
Mathieu: "You have to know how to suffer"
"I felt like my body exploded when I scored in the Clásico"
Jérémy Mathieu is always sincere when he talks to the press, which is unusual for a modern day football player. Mundo Deportivo sat him down for an interview about playing and scoring in El Clásico, his season and the current situation of the team.
"When I came, I didn't know how much I would play, but I had the idea to play as much as possible. This depends on our coach and my state of form" Mathieu said. "When the coach sends me on the pitch that means that he trusts my game, my ability and I always try to give the most of myself to return that confidence."
Asked about the current situation of the team and the possibility of winning the treble, Jérémy was optimistic, but cautious: "We are currently in a good dynamic, but there's still a lot to play before the titles are won. We're in the Cup final, but in the other 2 competitions there are still plenty of games. The next month is going to be even more complicated, but we have our destiny in our hands and we have to play like always and win everything."
"We both suffered and enjoyed the Clásico. On the pitch we didn't feel like we were suffering a lot, except for a small part at the end of the first half, but otherwise the team was good, everyone close. You have to know how to suffer," the defender noted. "After that, we tried to counter. It's not an excuse, but at one point I think we felt the game against City in our legs." Asked if Barça was a fair winner, Mathieu was clear in his assessment "It's football, the small details went in our favor. Madrid did have a period in which they had a lot of chances but didn't score. But that's simply football."
The discussion then turned to his goal against Madrid: "We work on set pieces in training and against Madrid it worked out good. In other games, it was Piqué who scored, not it was my turn. When I saw the ball coming towards me, I thought 'I have to score that', nothing else. After it went, in my body exploded. It was an incredible feeling. Scoring in a Clásico is phenomenal."
Barça have been in a very positive dynamic after the crisis at the start of 2015. Mathieu said that it was due to a change: "If in that moment we hadn't had changes, it would have been very complicated. After losing to Real Sociedad, we had to change things. We weren't at 100% in that game and we had to change. It's a different attitude now. Maybe then we had too much confidence. Now we're in a good dynamic, but when you have a lot of confidence, at times you relax a bit."
The biggest challenge in the immediate future for Barcelona is the Champions League quarter final with PSG.The 31 year old defender knows how tough those games will be: "It's a very complicated tie. In the group stage, when we lost in Paris, it was a very difficult game and we know that now it will be just as difficult. PSG is a team that can win the Champions League. We have to be at 100% for these games. Ibrahimovic being suspended for the first game can be an advantage, but football is unpredictable at times."
Asked to send a message to Barça fans around the world, Mathieu said that they need our support: "We have to continue like this. The most important thing is that the fans support us when we win and when we lose. If we all help each other as much as possible it's better for everyone."
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