NEWS
Friday April 19 2013
Bartra: I’m ready to play

Marc Bartra has reminded Barcelona that he has spent all season preparing for his ‘big moment’ and if that is against Bayern Munich then he is ready.

Despite the club’s selection issues at centre-back at more than one stage of the season, including currently, 22-year-old Bartra has generally been overlooked in the bigger games in favour of the team playing Adriano, Sergio Busquets or Alex Song out of position.

However, with Javier Mascherano currently out and Carles Puyol only having an outside chance of starting against Bayern Munich next week, the youngster has this week pushed forward his name for potential consideration for the Champions League semi-final first leg in Germany.

“In these last few games I have had more chances to play and I feel very comfortable with my teammates. I’m getting better, I’m more into my rhythm,” Bartra told reporters this week.

“If they trust in me to play in Munich, I won’t disappoint. The greater the difficulty, the keener I am to give it a go. I have been preparing all season for my big moment to arrive.

“I am aware what kind of team I am in and I have never felt demoralised. I have taken things with ambition, thinking that my time will eventually come.

“I think I’m gradually getting better and that’s very important. Competing and training at the same time with the best makes you a better player.”

Bartra then turned his attention to next Tuesday’s first leg against the Germans and the prospect of who they may meet in the final.

“To be European champion you have to beat the best teams. To beat Bayern and Madrid, and Borussia too, we’ll have to do that.

“Since I was a kid I have enjoyed playing in finals and tournaments against Madrid and with the team we have, my teammates won’t let anyone down.”

Meanwhile, Barca’s situation in the League is a lot clearer, with a 13-point lead heading into the last seven rounds of action.

“We are several points ahead of Madrid, but we know what their team can do and how much potential they have.

“We all feel part of this championship and the season as a whole. The way the players have been managed has been very good.”

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