Andres Iniesta has denied Barcelona have videos of Real Madrid’s Pepe, nor that he has a poor opinion of the Portuguese defender.
Reports this morning claimed that the Camp Nou outfit put together their own critical footage of Pepe from the 2010-11 Clasicos, whilst further reports suggested only television images of Pepe and his teammates had been used in Barcelona team-talks.
However, for Iniesta, neither is true, as he told the assembled media today.
“What must be clear is that we have never seen a video of Pepe. Not one of him nor of any professional colleague,” the midfielder told reporters today.
“In that sense, nor have we seen anything of Pepe or anything of that sort. The evaluations that people make of Pepe, though, is another thing.
“Things are thought to be cold when they need not have changed. For me, Pepe is a great centre-back and at one of the best teams in the world and my feeling about Pepe does not change just because he has a different view of me.”
That different view was made clear after Week 7’s Clasico, in which the defender accused the midfielder of theatrics.
“We have not discussed that [in the Barca dressing room]. What Pepe said was one thing, I replied because it was directly aimed at me and what I said I said and that is that. He answered but I have not given it the slightest importance.”
The No 8 then saw attention turn to on-field matters and the discussion about whether Barcelona are changing their approach or not.
“Every Coach is different, [Tito Vilanova] has his own personality and way of communicating. I do not think that we are more direct than before because the team seems exactly the same.
“Every game is different and every game has doubts – win or lose – but how we do things is the same. The team will be the same now through to the end of the season. And the defensive theme, that will sway back from instability.”
Another ongoing debate is on Iniesta’s best position within the team.
“The other day against Madrid I started on the wing and in the second half I played in the middle. I liked to play in midfield, it is no secret.
“But it is always about what is necessary and where I think I can play better. In that sense, my only feeling is to obey the medical staff.”
Iniesta is approaching 10 years since making his debut for the team in late October 2002 under Louis van Gaal.
“My recollection of my debut is the nerves. It was my first match with the first team. And since then I have thought a lot about it.
“The truth is that since I have experienced many moments. Some regular, but many have been good that if I had dreamed then would not have gone so well.
“I hope to continue. I do not know if for 10 more years, but for many more.”