BARCELONA | BARTRA
Both Madrid teams are especially strong this year, says Bartra
Barça centre-back Marc Bartra spoke to lfp.es this week: “It took us a while to adjust but now confidence is high”.
FC Barcelona defender Marc Bartra gave his appraisal of the season so far and his role within the side in an exclusive interview with the Spanish Professional Football League website this week.
Marks out of 10 for Barcelona for their season so far? “I’d give us a B. I think Excellent would be pushing it – we’ve still got a while to give ourselves such a high rating. It took us a while to get into our stride and we suffered a dip in form but now confidence is high and the last few months have given us cause for optimism”.
Closely-run campaign: “Atlético and Real Madrid are two great teams and they are especially strong this season. But we have maintained a good level ourselves, we're top of the table and everything is going to plan”.
Three draws with Atlético this season... “Atlético close down well at the back and don’t take risks when they’re in possession. That’s what makes them strong. They also have a very direct style of play and hardly ever concede possession in their half. That makes it even harder for us to break them down and reduces our chances on goal”.
Tata Martino: He applies common sense and knows how to organise the group and do what needs to be done. He has been spot on with his decisions and hasn't been afraid to rotate the squad or substitute players even when they are in form. And that is not an easy thing to do when you have so many good players up front.
Your role in the new-look Barça: I'm doing my bit for the team and that is all thanks to the manager for having faith in me. He made it clear from the start that he wasn't going to sign a centre-back and instead decided to stick with the 25 players who were already in the squad. I have come on a long way in a short time and I feel more comfortable with every game I play. It’s all down to the minutes I have been getting and the confidence being shown in me this season.