How do they get to the game?: “The feeling is very nice. We have found a very predisposed and eager group. A caring city and connected to the team. On top of that, we have to face the leader, with his story. Let’s focus on the present and what has been done these days. From there, we look for the operation that we want to find, that they enjoy the enthusiasm and the many hours of work. Busy time in the head leaves no room for thinking about nerves. We arrive with the peace of mind of a job well done and we are confident in it”.
Debut before the leader: “It is a great opportunity for Elche as an institution, to be able to receive this team with its great figures and its coach. For the city, it must be a party to come to their stadium and see their team against a great team. It is a great opportunity, with a great diffusion, which motivates us to be very good hosts”.
Options to win against Barça: “This is soccer. A sport that commits many people to fight for the same thing and to dream and make an effort, regardless of the differences in classification or budgets, when one goes out onto the playing field, the illusion is that it is possible. That keeps us alive. If I don’t think about getting a good result, I don’t train anymore. I always have that mentality, with my feet on the ground, but always stating that everything is possible. With our dreams we can continue to hope that this journey that is beginning now can continue over time with a lot of commitment and love for the game and for the people”.
Low: “We have Lucas Boyé and Pape Cheikh suspended due to sanctions, plus Nteka and Enzo Roco’s injuries due to discomfort. Magallán trained normally for four days and will be a concrete option”.
Barcelona: “We have placed a lot of emphasis on measuring ourselves against a rival that rules and dominates, with a large part of the game in the upper part. We will have to find some tools and know what to do with the ball. If you start thinking about holding on, withdrawing or waiting, it’s complicated. This team ends up taking you to that stage, but we want to play in the midfield away from our goal and have that physical and mental strength. Steal and take advantage of spaces left by their way of playing. They do not give respite and we have emphasized the game plan and with simple concepts to work on what it feels like and filter information. What we want to see in the future will come gradually. I am very happy and grateful because we have received a lot of love from all the people inside the club and outside. We want to return it with a remarkable commitment.”
Division in the stands: “I know that the Elche fans have always attended in large numbers and have accompanied us in moments of adversity despite moments of disappointment. The average is always 20,000 followers and this time they will be there because they already did it in the difficult ones and they will not want to miss this game. The rest of the tickets went on sale and it is normal for a rival from Barça’s hierarchy to have followers who come to see him. A full field is always an extra motivation. Football without people is not the same. In the pandemic there was a feeling of emptiness. Football belongs to the footballers and teams, but also to the people”.
One or two points: “Beyond the specific references, you always have to accompany the strikers with wingers or midfielders. The important thing about a good attack is volume and quality. If there is no quantity, you have to look for quality. The joy of the boys makes us think that there are boys with a fighting spirit and competitiveness with arrests to face what is left”.
Classification and budgets: “The difference due to the budget issue and the table does not prevent us from sitting down with the intention of facing the match by match. While they thought about the selection, we, in a united way, with the focus on what we have to do. We’ll see if this Saturday shows that.”
Return of Bragarnik: “I have worked with him and he always transfers his responsibility and way of working, which is 24 hours a day. The bond is very professional and actions are more important than words. He is a constant worker to seek the best of his institution, its people and his environment. I have lived that with him from my experience ”,
Lautaro Blanco: “It has arrived very well and it was planned for it to come a day earlier. We communicate with the coach, the teacher, Guille (Marino)… There is a very good bond with the national team, which treats us very well. That pushes at decision time and may be a possibility. He arrives very happy to wear the Argentina shirt and willing to train and work hard. That disposition that I have found in footballers keeps me very excited”.
Message for the fans: “I always repeat the same thing. I appreciate you making it possible for this profession of pure gaming to come to life. I have suffered a lot from the pandemic, not only because it revolutionized the world, but because in football the sensations outside were not the same. I am very grateful to the people who come to cheer on their team and bond with their institution, feeling proud. People who show you their shirt and their tattoos; that excites me and moves me. Whoever comes or pays the entrance does so out of love. He has no benefit other than the pure love of his team. He did not send any message, but only thank you because the fans are the most noble thing that football has.