Thiago: Barca’s start unexpected

Thiago Alcantara has admitted that no-one at Barcelona could have imagined the start to the Spanish League season that has occurred.

La Blaugrana find themselves top of the table having won 12 of their 13 games and drawn the other one, equalling the record for the best ever start to a League season.

At the same time, Real Madrid trail by 11 points, whilst it is Atletico Madrid that currently occupy second spot in the table, just three points behind Barca.

 “The gap to Madrid is unreal, it does not reflect at all the League. Maybe at the end we will have more, or fewer, we don’t know,” reflected Thiago to the gathered media today.

“Madrid are always a dangerous opponent. They were the League champions last year. They are always dangerous in any situation.

“All that has happened since the start of the season has been unexpected. We did not imagine the record start, even if we had hoped to win every game. Now, Atletico Madrid are playing great, getting lots of wins too.”

Atletico travel across town on Saturday night to face city rivals Real Madrid, but Thiago says it is not a game that will necessarily benefit Barcelona.

“Any result in the Madrid derby cannot benefit us, though. The most important game is ours, where we can get three points. Whatever result in the derby, if we lose our game, it does not benefit us.

“They are two very strong teams in our League. Madrid is Madrid and Atletico is sticking to us, following in our wake and they are also winning titles, which is an important endorsement. They are two very strong teams.”

Thiago’s teammates Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta were announced this afternoon as on the three-man shortlist for the 2012 Ballon d’Or.

“Leo is the best player in the world, that is very clear. But I share a dressing room with other very good players.

“We have players that do not fall short of each other, one scores many, many goals, the others provide many assists. Everyone complements each other.

“I do not see much distance between Andres, Leo and Xavi.

“Do I dream of winning it one day? As a child I always dreamed of it, it is something I have always thought about. But now it is a far cry, you have to take things one day at a time. Currently there are players way above me.”

Barca welcome Athletic Bilbao to the Camp Nou this weekend.

“They have lost a level compared to last year. Javi Martinez’ departure hurt them. But, they still have Iker Muniain and Susaeta and whilst they have lowered their level, they still have good players as a team.”

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