FC Barcelona’s director of football took some time to answer some questions after their Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid CF. The former “Dream Team” goalkeeper said that he felt “lucky” to have the two teams in Spain competing, adding his feelings about the match and the result. He also responded to some questions over Raphaël Varane and the frequent comparisons between the Copa del Rey and La Liga. Continue on to read the full translation of the interview conducted after the match.
Interviewer: Have you suffered or enjoyed the match? Welcome, Andoni!
Zubizarreta: “Hello. No no, I enjoyed it. I believe we are fortunate to have the best two teams in (I won’t say the world because that would sound too arrogant) Europe in our league. Two teams that play with full intensity, players with individual quality. When Madrid counters, you believe they can cause you damage and when we have the ball, we enjoy it. To me, it was a great game of football.”
With many different changes of momentum. Madrid started better, how do you feel the game evolved?
“Madrid went to pressure us up high, they didn’t let us play the ball as quickly as we would have liked and they intercepted the ball a few times and created opportunities. Since we’re loyal to our style of play, we stuck to it and we managed to turn the game to our favor. Towards the end of the first, Madrid pressured us a bit more, the second half we started better, we definitely had a chance to score another goal after the 1-0. But Madrid always has the means, good crosses, the counter attack and their stature. They’re a very powerful team with respect to these things. It finished 1-1 and we’re off to the Camp Nou to finish the tie.”
Cesc Fàbregas said that Barça could have gotten a better result and they leave with a bitter taste in their mouths.
“Well it depends on what part of the game you watched. It’s true that after the 1-0 we were dominating the ball and creating chances to score. Of course, we could have scored another goal, but it’s also true that Madrid had their opportunities. The result in the end are what they are, the chances that you missed and the ones that your opponents didn’t take are left with the game.”
Andoni, I’m sure you would agree with me that the game didn’t reflect the vast difference in points in the league.
“No, but we had already said it after the game against Málaga. The cup is another competition, it’s a different style and it’s played in a different way. The players as well as the people forget about certain things and focus on getting to the final. It’s 2 games, 180 minutes. The league isn’t relevant here, it reflects the difference of the games we’ve played from August to today. The cup is different.”
Have you been surprised by Madrid?
“No they haven’t surprised me.”
For example, the situation of Varane, a young player who played an extraordinarily good game tonight?
“No I’m still not surprised. All the players that wear that shirt have to be great footballers. To wear a shirt like Madrid’s and play there, in the Bernabéu, you have to have quality as well as character. There are some that wish to be more known and talked about and others that don’t.”
Pinto as your goalkeeper, until the end?
“I don’t know. (laughs) I don’t know anything about the starting lineups, not one. It will be up to the staff to decide. The truth is that he did a good job today, for what he had to do, he did well.”
Thank very much, Andoni
Source: Sport.es; Image: Javi Ferrándiz/Sport.es