Tito: ‘I’d rather face a Primera team’

Tito Vilanova has commented of the perils in Barcelona facing Segunda Division outfit Cordoba in the Copa del Rey this Wednesday.

La Blaugrana take the trip south to face the Andalucians in the first leg of their Cup tie this midweek and for Vilanova, it is a difficult task.

“At this moment, facing Betis was difficult for us, but facing a Segunda Division side in the Copa del Rey will see the difficulty raised,” commented the Coach, who has named a strong squad for the match.

“Cordoba are doing well in the Division and you see how Real Valladolid are doing this year in the top flight, with the same players that helped them get promoted from La Segunda last year.

“It’s complicated. It is a tie that everyone will assume is already won, but I would have preferred to have faced a Primera Division team.

“For Cordoba this will their game of the year, like our Champions League Final. They will play will all the motivation, because for 40 years they have not been in the top flight.

“This game is very difficult. It is not decided that we will progress, but we do intend to get a good result there.”

Vilanova reflected that he at least holds an advantage in not having to motivate his own players.

“Motivation is not necessary. For our players they love to play football. They already know this is an important game and that we have to do a good job.

“Sometimes Coaches talk about the obvious. The players know we face a Segunda side that wants to do well.

“Cordoba beat Real Sociedad in the last round and did so playing good football. We cannot go into the thinking that we will win it easily.”

Vilanova was asked for another soundbite on Lionel Messi, who holds the world record for goals scored in a calendar year, with his double in Betis on Sunday taking him to 86 for 2012.

“The great virtue of Leo Messi is that what he did as a youth he continues to do as a professional, and this is very difficult.

“I loved watching him play then and now at this age. Let’s hope he can continue for much longer. Today he is one of the all-time greatest of this club.

“Will he be extra motivated to face Radamel Falcao at the weekend? Leo is always motivated. I do not believe that his motivation will be greater for facing Falcao.”

Iker Casillas has commented this afternoon that he would prefer to finish 25 points behind Barcelona in the League if it meant he could win a 10th European Cup this term.

“I do not believe so,” Vilanova responded when it was put to him. “I think he, with such statements, shows a preference to win that competition, but there are still many points available in the League and there is no point discussing the possibility that they will not fight for the title.”

Tags Casillas Cordoba Messi Vilanova