06/09/2021 at 8:07 PM CEST
The most important moment of the season is approaching and it is palpable in the atmosphere. All possible distractions, which are many, that may affect Barça handball must be completely parked until Monday. There will be time to analyze everything that happened, explain movements and give way to the multiple goodbyes, but It is time to do a pineapple and focus on a single issue: the Final Four in Cologne that kicks off on Saturday.
Barça travels to Cologne this Thursday with the clear objective of getting a title that has been resisting since the 2014-15 season, a Champions League more desired than ever in a very special year for many members of the squad and of course, for Xavi Pascual.
The Barça coach is the first who is clear that they need to be one hundred percent focused on the Fina Four and park all issues outside the competition: “I have so many worries in my head that I just want to focus on being able to win. When the competition is over I may have a special feeling, but now my mind doesn’t have time to think about this & rdquor ;.
And it is that ‘Pasqui’ wants to say goodbye to the club of his life in a big way, winning the long-awaited Champions League, and this requires all his attention at this time.
He does not want, however, to give the impression that this year they are going to try harder for everything that happened or that it is a way of claiming back: “I think that sometimes we are trying to win titles for some people, some players, some coaches. or some presidents. In the end the titles are won and they remain for the club& rdquor ;.
With these words at the press conference before leaving for Cologne, he wanted to settle the issue, but still had to add some more arguments: “In this case, we are going to try to win the title for Barça, because that is what we must do, regardless of what we have individually.. Every time we go to Cologne we try and now we will try again. I only think of it as an opportunity to win a Champions League again & rdquor ;.
Pascual has a great experience in playing a Final Four, not in vain it will be the ninth time that he faces it under the direction of the Catalans. He knows perfectly well that the role of favorites in Cologne disappears completely: “In the Final Four there are four teams and all four can win. Everyone has options, and I think we’ve understood for a long time that there are no favorites & rdquor ;.
Everything can happen
The Barça coach knows perfectly well that anything can happen in the Final Four, since there are already several years in which Barça has gone through the experience of falling in the semis or in the final due to details that occur in single-game qualifiers: “When you get there everything changes, because there are two games and a lot of things can happen. Of course we have made mistakes, but we have also had successes. And if losing a game is a mistake, we will have to try not to lose it, if we see it from this point of view & rdquor ;, warned the Barça coach.
‘Pasqui’ did not hesitate to praise Nantes, the team he directs Alberto Entrerríos, Barça’s brother Raúl and Barça’s rival in the semis on Saturday: “It is the team that arrives in the best shape with an extraordinary trajectory and being able to eliminate Kielce and Veszprém in the eighths and quarters. You can see the hand of Alberto Entrerríos, with important players and an extraordinary goalkeeper like Emil Nielsen & rdquor ;.
But on the other hand, the Barça coach is very clear that “We arrived well. The team arrives united and wants, because we must not forget that this is still a game … or two for the title & rdquor ;, he concluded.
Raúl Entrerríos: “Anything can happen in a Final Four & rdquor;
FC Barcelona captain Raúl Entrerríos, who will play his last Final Four in Cologne since after the Olympic Games he will retire from top competition, has been lucky enough to be able to do so by facing the team coached by his brother Alberto, something he celebrates: “Living this experience again with a brother is extraordinary and I value it very much. I am very happy for my brother, because he has achieved something extraordinary with Nantes: getting into the Final Four with a very difficult path in the qualifying rounds and overcoming all obstacles & rdquor ;.
Raúl, at a press conference yesterday, explained that “once we are there, this relationship will disappear and each one will try to do their job as best as possible & rdquor ;. The Barça center-back has won two Champions League titles with Barça (2011 and 2015) and expressed himself along the same lines as the coach: “In a Final Four, anything can happen, both in the semi-final and in the final match & rdquor ;. The last few days Raúl had some discomfort: “I come to the end of a season with a lot of load, many games, also with intense competition at the national team level and that is carried in the body. Now I have to take care of myself more & rdquor ;.