FC Barcelona defender Adriano Correia (26) spoke in a pre-match press conference today about Sunday’s league game against Real Sporting de Gijón. Barcelona’s away record against Gijón has not been marked by clear victories; two years ago, Pedro Rodríguez (24) managed to give Barcelona a narrow win, but one year ago it took David Villa (29) scoring on his old pitch just to secure the draw. Adriano knows “we suffered there last year and struggled to win two years ago” but also recognizes that this season “it is a key game, because it comes just before the international break.”
Head coach Pep Guardiola’s experiments with the line-up have affected Adriano’s traditional position, but the versatile defender assures that “whether we play 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 it makes no difference to me, I can play further back or further forward. We saw that in Valencia.” Against Valencia, Adriano played on the right of the midfield though just a few games before he had served as a left-back to cover the various defensive line injuries. Adriano enjoyed his new midfield role, though, and stated that “playing there is nothing new for me. It is a little different, the pace of play and tactical position, but I love it because you’re closer to the rival goal and you have more chances to score.” As for his role as a substitute, it “does not bother me, every day I am more motivated. I am ready to help the team, whether it is to play with my peers or not. I like being on the bench.”
Adriano also realized his team’s poor away record so far this season, as the first win came just a few days ago against FC BATE Borisov in the Champions League. “Winning 5-0 gives us more confidence. We have had some tough away games and have only drawn until now. We created a lot of chances against Real Sociedad but didn’t get goals like we did on Wednesday.” He continued by saying the team should not lose intensity during any game, regardless of the scoreline.
“It is a privilege to play alongside him. There is nobody quite like him today. He is above everyone else,” Adriano said of teammate Lionel Messi (24). Adriano is sure that Messi is the best player in the world and that he will succeed in becoming FC Barcelona’s all-time top scorer by the end of this season.
As for captain Carles Puyol (33), who recently returned from injury, Adriano again had only praise. “He is a captain who has a lot of force in this team. He motivates us and is a great team mate. He gives us life.”
The persisting rumors about fellow Brazilian and Santos striker Neymar da Silva (19) joining Barcelona were also brought up, and Adriano expressed his view of the transfer. “From what I understand, the club is trying to sign him and it would be nice to see him play here. We [Alves and Adriano] have explained what Barcelona is [to Neymar], but everyone decides his own future.”