Athletic Bilbao Coach Marcelo Bielsa believes that it is ‘premature and unfair’ to question a Barcelona side that stands on the edge of winning La Liga.
Barca are under scrutiny for having lost the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich 4-0 earlier this week.
The suggestion in some quarters that the team are at the end of an era, but their opposition Coach for this weekend’s League match at San Mames has offered some perspective.
“I do not share the predominant reading in conclusion of these two games, it is a time when interpreting an episode of football is unjust,” commented Bielsa in today’s Press conference.
“There is not so much distance in time to the 4-0 win over Milan. It is very difficult for a team like Barcelona to continue to evolve, but to ignore that they will win the League and that they have eliminated Milan and Paris Saint-Germain is premature and unfair.
“I have learned in these four years to assess the process that has taken Barcelona forward, it has been revolutionary.
“Denying the history of these players when they are on the edge of winning the League seems discouraging.
“I am not blind and the logic is that the tie favours Bayern, who are in great shape and who have great individuals. My answer is not to be inattentive, but to just not correspond.”
Athletic play host on Saturday evening aware that a win for Barca combined with defeat for Real Madrid in the Madrid derby that immediately follows will see the Catalans crowned League champions.
“The expectations and needs of the game are equal to before they played against Bayern. Whoever plays is down to their Coach. I do not think Barca will be focused on the return leg.
“Winning will be as relevant for Athletic and maybe even more so for the need that we have.”