‘Beating Barca is Rayo’s challenge’

Paco Jemez says trying to be the first team this season to beat Barcelona in the League is a challenge that Rayo Vallecano are looking forward to.

The Madrid minnows welcome the League leaders to Vallecas this Saturday evening with Jemez looking forward to the test, equally aware of how difficult it may be.

“We have much ambition and are eager to face one of the best teams in the world, which is something that does not happen every week,” introduced the Coach today.

“We are fortunate to approach the game this week and we want to play our tricks, to try to hurt them and to win the game. We’re not going to throw this game away, our fans should have a good time, because the public at Vallecas go there to encourage their team to try and play well.

“If we are to win then we have to score, because Barca beat you by creating their own and controlling your chances. Maybe we cannot win, but we can try to change the way of facing the clash.”

The Coach refused to go along with the idea that the Catalans are vulnerable at the moment, having conceded 11 goals in their opening eight games.

“Barcelona are not necessarily overly stretched, they have taken games by going forward. The other day against Deportivo bad things happened and they still scored five goals.

“Barca have a punch, they do things very well and the fact that no-one has beaten them in the League yet is a challenge to us to see if we can be the first.

“Barca as a whole team do things right and that is very difficult to counter, especially when they are on form. The current Barca worry me as an entire block.

“It seems that Messi is the player who must take all the attention, and he is probably one of the best in the world, but the club has plenty of players who can decide a match at any time.

“Focusing on one player does not get you anywhere. You have to watch them all, especially for those little details to counteract the block, not just Messi, because although we know we might stop him, Barca is more than that.

“Pedro, for example, is the fastest person I have ever seen.”

Jemez then reflected on the differences he has noticed at Rayo from his playing days there and where objectives for the new season lie.

“Thanks to the leadership of before and now, we have a training complex, which is beautiful, and that makes us a team. Before we had nowhere to train, and had no identity. Now we have a home.

“At a sporting level, we do not have a roof, we know what we are, where we have started and our objectives. We are fearless people, we look to the future with optimism and we do not want to fight only against relegation, even if that is the first step.

“Levante are a good mirror for us, a humble and modest team.”

Tags Paco Jemez