matchdays | 2015-05-15
Piqué: I would love to play a Champions League final vs Real Madrid before I retire
"I know that we're close to the titles, but we have to keep our feet on the ground"
FC Barcelona defender Gerard Piqué spoke to the media after Friday's training session. Here are his most important statements:
- "Juve will be a very difficult rival. They have a great history and great players. It's a team that, despite being Italian, isn't defensive. At the Bernabéu they showed that they want to play. We're excited and we want to get to that day, but before that, we have to try and finish the league as soon as possible and then play the cup final. There's less than a month left, but it's very exciting and we have a lot of things to enjoy at this time."
- "The final is what it is. Juve qualified and they deserved it. They've had a great Champions League campaign and deserve to be in the final. We don't feel like we're favorites, it's 50-50 and we'll try to play our game, which has given us great results so far. We respect Juve a lot. Would I have liked Madrid in the final? I'm one of the players who would love to play a Champions League final against Madrid before I retire. But we know how difficult that is. We have to enjoy this one because you never know if you'll get one more."
- "I've enjoyed this season a lot and this is what I'm left with: with my desire to play every game, to improve every day and to help the team. We've all played a great season. At the end it matters if you win titles or not, we have to finish everything. After that we can say if we've had a very good season, a good season or whatever. But I'm left with the fact that I've enjoyed it a lot."
- "I don't know if Luis Enrique is staying next season, that's a question you have to ask him. He has another year on his contract and he's made it clear more than once that this is his house and that his intention is to stay, but this is not a question for me to answer."
- "Neither in January nor at the start of the season would we have expected to reach this point fighting for all three titles, because there have been few moments in Barça's history when it has happened. Perhaps in January we passed through our worst moment, but in each year I've been here there have been similar bad moments. In my first year, when we won the treble, we passed through a critical moment when we lost to Atlético and Espanyol, I think, and Madrid was getting close to us in the ranking and we had to go to the Bernabéu and it looked as if we would lose the league, but in the end it didn't happen. You have to pass through these bad moments and I think that this team is bomb-proof right now. We've survived everything and we're here now."
- "You look at the teams that have won a treble thoughout history and you see how difficult it is. Other teams compete as well. We're playing a cup final against a historic club like Athletic Bilbao and a Champions League final against another historic club like Juventus. From what I read and what I perceive, it looks as if we've won the treble already and we haven't won any titles yet. We have zero titles right now. I know that we're close, but we have to keep our feet on the ground. There's not much left, but it's the hardest part. We have to be united and aware of the fact that it's hard."
- "I don't care what happens at Madrid, I care about Barça."
- "I don't care when and where we win the league, what I want is to win it. I hope it happens as soon as possible. Winning it at the Calderón wouldn't make it more special because of what happened last season. You don't get to chose when you win the league title."
- "The situation right now is similar to the one in Guardiola's first season. I think that the numbers are similar, maybe we've won a game more this season, but in the end getting to this point means that things have been done very well. We've had our bad moments, but the team has surpassed them. In difficult away games, when it looked as if we'd lose we pulled through together. Thanks to the defensive work and to the security that our goalkeeps and defenders have given the team, the forwards had chances to score. You can compare it to 2008/2009, the way in which we play is not exactly the same, but people are happy."
- "If you look at what separates us from Madrid I think the most valuable thing is that we have players that have been here for a very long time. There's Xavi, Andrés, Leo, Busi, Masche, Pedro, me.... We're players that have been here for many years and this usually doesn't happen in today's football. There's a lot of pressure to win and it's normal for the players that don't perform to be sold and replaced. Here, due to the club's philosophy and our way of understanding football, despite the fact that we've had years that have been less than great, we have been trusted. And now we're getting results again. I've always compared this with the Spurs, the basketball team, they also have players that have played together for a long time, they've won titles in some years, in others they haven't, but they've always been trusted and that gives you results."
- "I know how this house works. When we win it's thanks to the forwards and when we lose it's because of the defense. I learned this a long time ago. But that's not a problem. I enjoy our attacking force a lot and I have a great relationship with them. I've never seen an attacking trio like the one we have now. And that's not to say that the forwards we've had before weren't good, because they were great players, but the quality that these three have, the way they complement each other because they're all different, not the same type of player, and their relationship is something unique."
- "Our last league title was a historic one. 100 points had never been reached in the club's history. We were the best team from the first game to the last. It was a very difficult year, due to the circumstances, but I think that it will always live in the club's history because of what it meant, because it was Tito's league. I don't think that many things have changed since we won the league the last time. A lot of the players are the same, the philosophy is the same. We're on the same road we started on years ago. This year there are few days left and I hope we get to enjoy some titles."
- "We're a more mature team than the one that won the treble in 2009. We know how to face difficult situations with more guarantees for success, our game has evolved, maybe we're not that team that had 70-80 percent possession in every game and our games don't look like handball games anymore. We're more direct, recoveries and fast transitions to take advantage of the quality we have up top. Defensively I think we've been more solid even though we're still criticized. Bravo can win the team's fifth Zamora in the seven years I've been here. As a team I think we're very complete and that has shown. In the end, when a season ends you can see the flaws. A season is very long and short rosters or squads that don't have enough quality end up losing and this team has maintained its level even if we've gone though some difficult moments."
- "When you reach this point, with four games left of which two are finals, the physical form doesn't matter a lot. What matters is the right mentality and the desire to win titles. In the end, what everyone wants is success."
- "We've shown that we can handle difficult moments more than once. We have plenty of players that have been here for a long time, we know this house very well, we know how things work. We're used to the outside noise. In the end the football belongs to the players and if we perform at a good level a meteor can fall on the club and no one would care. If we win the fans are happy. We try to do our job as well as we can and I think we're making people happy that this season."
- "At the start of the season I had some off-pitch issues that didn't affect my performance, but maybe they overshadowed it a bit. I was wrong, I apologized for those incidents at the time and from then on, there was only my football that I was getting noticed for. This is what we're here for, doing our job as best as possible and that's what I was focused on achieving and things have worked out."
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Source: FC Barcelona