Former Barcelona defender Mario has reflected on the club’s recent setback and on facing them this weekend with Real Betis.
Betis travel up to Catalonia this Sunday evening off the back of Barca’s 7-0 aggregate Champions League semi-final defeat to Bayern Munich.
For Mario, who spent the 2003-04 campaign on loan at the Camp Nou, it is perhaps the end of La Blaugrana’s recent dominance.
“I think that Barca will not win as much as before, but that they will keep winning titles and fighting,” mused the 31-year-old to reporters today.
“At the club I have friends and good memories. I trained a lot but played little. I learned a lot and they treated me well. I have no complaints about them.
“I can play on Sunday if the Coach wants me. It will be a tough game. Last night they were up against a tough opponent but Sunday will be totally different. It is complicated, but we come into it with the mindset to make things difficult. They are obliged to do well, always. They are obliged to win the League as soon as possible. Hopefully we can spoil the party.”
Betis are also still in contention for European qualification this term.
“We are not doing the maths, but always going game by game. We have had a few games where things have not gone our way.
“We depend on ourselves and it will be complicated because there are many teams fighting for the same things.
“Rayo Vallecano are strong, they are the team behind us, but we depend on ourselves. Neither Rayo nor us will win every game. We are concerned about Rayo. Sevilla are much lower in the table…”