Vilanova: “This league means a lot”

Vilanova: “This league means a lot”

FC Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova addressed the press on Saturday ahead of this weekend’s Liga match in Madrid against third placed Atlético. Vilanova spent most of his time validating the squad’s imminent Liga title: “This league means a lot. We’ll have beaten the best Madrid ever, the one that got 100 points. I know [Atlético] will want to beat us. It’s always an added motivation to be playing Barça. Atlético have the cup final to think about, but they have a big enough squad to be able to cope well enough with this match too. They’ve only let in ten goals at home and are having an excellent season.”

The other team from the capitol, Real Madrid, will be in Catalunya on Saturday for a match against Barcelona’s cross-town rivals Espanyol. When asked about the match, Vilanova replied: “The only thing I’m thinking about is winning our match. I can’t be worrying about what might happen on Saturday. People get the feeling that we already won the league some time ago, but Real Madrid have had an incredible second half to the season and if we had relaxed, they’d have caught up with us.”

One emerging sidelight in the final stretch of the season is about whether or not Leo Messi can once again surpass 50 Liga goals. When asked about this potential record, Vilanova was clear about the squad’s priorities: “The aim this Sunday is not for Messi to get to 50 goals, it’s to win the league. But if he can do that as well, so much the better.

Image: MIGUEL RUIZ